Audrey Tang, Taiwan’s Transwoman Digital Minister

“A computer genius with an IQ of 180, a former entrepreneur who retired from business by age 33, and self-described ‘civic-hacker’, Digital Minister of Taiwan, Audrey Tang has always been a ground breaker. Tang, left school at 12 to pursue a passion for programming. By 19 was already working as an entrepreneur in Silicon Valley. Tang began transitioning at 24 to a woman and made history last year when she was appointed Taiwan’s first transgender minister.

As Minister, Tang is launching Taiwan’s war against fake news, approaching the issue by training children how to distinguish between real stories and hoaxes. Speaking to TIME, she says she refuses to use the “antagonistic” term fake news, viewing it as “an affront to journalism.” She refers instead to the less catchy “systematic computational propaganda based on rumors” and describes it as an advanced form of “psychological manipulation.”

To her, choosing to teach children how to discern the truth as opposed to blocking sites, marks Taiwan as a “unique” beacon of free speech in a region where other governments often try to suppress it.”

Modified from an article by by Nicola Smith.

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