A hospital in Taoyuan County has filed defamation charges against netizens who reposted an online article that had erroneously pinned a case of misdiagnosis on it.
On Oct. 4, an article appeared on the Internet accusing a hospital, without giving its name, in Taoyuan’s Chungli City (中壢) of mistakenly diagnosing a female junior-high school student, surnamed Yu (游), who had sought medical assistance there.
As the article was reposted, some netizens incorporated fabricated content into the original version, misattributing the incident to the Landseed Hospital, which the article said was located in the county’s Chungli, and its proprietor, Chang Huan-chen (張煥禎).
A sentence alleging that Chang had demanded that the story be withdrawn was also added.
The hospital decided to press charges against whoever shared the article to hold netizens accountable for the content they published on the Internet.
“We went through all our medical records in an attempt to verify the article. No one with that surname was found to have sought outpatient treatment at our facility,” the hospital said.
“Most importantly, the Landseed Hospital is located in Pingjhen (平鎮), rather than in Chungli as some netizens claimed,” the hospital said. “The fabricated version is outright wrong, yet it had been widely shared, which is why we decided to take those who had spread the story to court.”
The hospital added that as no reference to the Landseed Hospital was made in the original version, it would not demand the article’s removal from the Internet.
A preliminary search by the hospital found that the falsified version of the article has been posted on at least four online forums, including Cartino, QOOS, 94im and 105life.
As most netizens who had shared the article registered on these Web sites may have already deleted their posts, the hospital is trying to identify them by tracking their IP addresses.
The hospital is still ascertaining the actual number of netizens involved in the case.
Landseed Hospital superintendent Huang Chung-chih (黃忠智) said the hospital has entrusted a counselor to take legal action in a bid to safeguard the reputations of both the facility and Chang.
“Netizens are advised against arbitrarily sharing stories without any prior verification to avoid breaking the law and ought to take full responsibility for their remarks on the Internet,” Huang said.
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
‘RELIABLE PARTNER’: US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar praised the ‘Taiwan model,’ saying that the nation brought its spirit to its COVID-19 response The first memorandum of understanding (MOU) on health cooperation between the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the US Department of Health and Human Services was yesterday signed at the Centers for Disease Control in Taipei. The memorandum was signed between the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US, by AIT Director Brent Christensen and Taiwan Council for US Affairs Chairperson Jen-ni Yang (楊珍妮). US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) witnessed the signing of the memorandum, designed to enhance the nations’
NEW CASE REPORTED: A man who returned from South Africa on a flight with the nation’s 460th and 461st cases has now tested positive for the disease The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that there is no need to test all arrivals to the nation for COVID-19, a policy the Executive Yuan supports. The center reported one new imported case, bringing the nation’s tally of confirmed cases to 477. The new case is a Taiwanese man in his 60s who on July 25 returned from South Africa, said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is also the CECC’s spokesman. The man had returned to Taiwan on the same flight as cases Nos. 460 and 461, reported on July 27, Chuang said. On July 24,
Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) yesterday tweeted a welcome to Somaliland’s first representative to Taiwan, Mohamed Omar Hagi Mohamoud, who arrived on Friday. Mohamoud had “braved Chinese pressure” to take up his new post, Wu wrote. “The fact ‘sovereignty & friendship aren’t for sale’ deserves international recognition,” referring to a Somaliland media report earlier this month that Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi had rejected an offer by the Chinese government in exchange for ending its rapprochement with Taiwan. Wu also thanked the US National Security Council (NSC) for praising Taiwan-Somaliland ties. A council tweet on July 10 praised Taiwan