Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Hung Hsiu-chu’s (洪秀柱) campaign office yesterday said that Hung’s Facebook page has come under constant attack by people posting pornographic pictures photoshopped to feature Hung, and asked Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to rein in her supporters.
The office said that since early June, its Facebook page has been attacked by at least 78 accounts belonging to unidentified people using false names who post lewd pictures and leave offensive comments.
“The attacks sometimes number 20 or 30 a day,” it said.
Stressing that the office has reported the matter to the police twice, Hung spokesperson Hsu Chiao-hsin (徐巧芯) said the office suspects that it is “a criminal act systematically undertaken by a group.”
Huang Shih-yang (黃士洋), the attorney commissioned by the office, said the series of photographs has exceeded the boundaries protected by freedom of speech and could constitute public insult, libel and “rumor dissemination for the purpose of making a candidate not elected,” which is liable to penalties under the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法).
“This is simply crime, not policy assessment,” Huang said.
Calling the attacks “cyberbullying,” Hsu called on Tsai, also a female presidential candidate, to put an end to the negative campaigning together and “rein in and condemn the supporters’” irrational behavior.
“It would have been a milestone for Taiwan to have both major parties field female presidential candidates, but this series of lewd pictures shows that there is still a long way to go for Taiwan on gender equality,” Hsu said.
Hung, who was in Yilan yesterday, fumed over the Internet harassment, calling it “debased and wicked,” and speculated that it was perpetrated by her political opponents.
“Legal action will be taken against those who have stepped over the legal red line; it will be known which opponent [has committed the act] as soon as an investigation is carried out,” Hung said.
In a separate press release, Hung commemorated International Memorial Day for Comfort Women yesterday.
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