Asia's fight against fake news - Mongolia

Citizen journalism a problem

ULAANBAATOR • A news item titled "Donald Trump signs visa-free travel policy for Mongolia", with a picture of the US President signing a document, went viral on social media in Mongolia in March.

However, it was fake news.

The United States Embassy in Mongolia made an official statement regarding the fake news. In the end, all mainstream media operating in Mongolia joined forces to stop the spread of the fake news by publishing the US Embassy statement.

Fake news has become popular during elections in Mongolia. The media fights against fake news by checking and revealing the truth. However, it is not the best solution to stop fake news.

Thus, the Media Council, an internal regulatory organisation established in 2015, encourages journalists not to become one of the disseminators of fake news and appeals to them to follow their professional ethical code.

But citizen journalism is rapidly developing in Mongolia.

The country, with a total population of 3.1 million, has more than 200 websites, resulting in doubts among the public about who should be called a journalist in Mongolia and which is the "real" media organisation.

Some people manage two or more than websites from their homes, and they are often the source of fake news. As a result, the reputation of the media and journalists is falling.

At the same time, it has been discussed recently that readers should have filters to information.

But this is difficult. Secondary schools of some countries teach readers how to filter information. However, in Mongolia, the Ministry of Education does not mention the contents of the education programme.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 29, 2017, with the headline 'Citizen journalism a problem'. Print Edition | Subscribe