Mon, May 16, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Chang Ching-sen quits Facebook after a ‘bludgeoning’ by ‘pissed off’ netizens

GENTLE PUSH:Premier-designate Lin Chuan said that he had ‘suggested’ Chang close his Facebook account after Friday, when the new administration takes office

By Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter

Minister without portfolio-designate Chang Ching-sen (張景森) yesterday announced he would be closing his Facebook account, saying that it is “not a safe space anymore” and that “people should know I am not the person television talking heads portray me to be.”

Last month, Chang criticized the land justice movement on Facebook, in remarks that proved controversial and resulted in prominent advocates calling for his removal from president-elect Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) provisional Cabinet. Chang later issued an apology over the wording of his comments, but stood by the content.

Premier-designate Lin Chuan (林全) on Friday said that he had “suggested” that Chang close his Facebook account after May 20, when the new administration takes office.

In the post Chang made yesterday, he said that he has been using the platform for five years to keep in touch with friends and network, and that he had maintained a “natural and honest communicative style that is just like I am with friends in private.”

He said that although “Facebook is supposed to be a private space,” when he became a “public figure,” his profile attracted unwanted attention from “paparazzi netizens” who “intruded like voyeurs by taking private conversations and comments out of context and without permission, distorting them to manufacture news.”

His Facebook comments had provided material for “people who are pissed off about Chang Ching-sen, the DPP [Democratic Progressive Party], Tsai, or just pissed off about the economy, the weather or everything, and need to release their emotions by bludgeoning someone,” Chang said, adding: “Facebook is no longer a safe space.”

Chang said that he could “be a phony” by “dressing up” his comments for the benefit of “prying ears” and use his profile as “a public relations bullhorn,” but “marketing” himself is not his “style,” and would “get in the way of making friends.”

The other option is to “take safety precautions” by “deleting all those people who are without loyalty to friends,” but since “people’s hearts are covered by their skins,” and he does not want to isolate himself from “different voices,” which he finds “inappropriate for a public figure,” he is to shut down his account instead.

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