An online petition launched on Sunday by students to boycott false news reports and call for stricter measures against Chinese-
sponsored media campaigns has collected more than 8,000 signatures within 24 hours of its launch.
The petition was organized by a coalition of 100 student groups from high schools and universities nationwide, led by the student associations of National Taiwan University (NTU) and National Chengchi University (NCCU), as well as the NCCU Wild Fire student group.
Photo: Screen grab from Facebook
“Student associations and youth groups have formed the coalition to boycott ‘fake news’ on Freedom of Expression Day, because we are seeing biased and untrue news being reported by media outlets that claim to celebrate freedom of speech and of the press,” the coalition said in a statement on Sunday.
By publishing false news reports and promoting certain politicians as “god-like,” the media outlets are failing in their role as the fourth estate and “destroying Taiwan’s democracy,” it said.
It gave as an example a report broadcast by CtiTV News on Feb. 18 in which a popular commentator on religious issues said that an “auspicious cloud” appeared in the sky when Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) joined Taichung Mayor Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕) and New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) at a campaign rally in Tainan.
The coalition urged the public to join the students in boycotting news outlets that report biased and unverified information, and called for more government measures against Chinese media campaigns.
Research has found that the Chinese government is consistently trying to impose censorship on Taiwanese media outlets by offering as incentives access to the Chinese market or investments, it said.
The finding, coupled with reports of China-based entities buying Taiwanese-owned Facebook pages to influence public opinion, are alarming, it added.
The statement was supported by dozens of academics and politicians, including Academia Sinica associate research fellow Wu Rwei-ren (吳叡人), NTU history professor Chou Wan-yao (周婉窈) and New Power Party Legislator Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌).
The coalition would soon plan a series of talks on media manipulation, and work with more student groups to boycott certain news outlets at restaurants and cafes on and near campuses, the coalition said on Facebook.
The petition followed a series of calls by students at NTU and NCCU since last month to boycott CtiTV News over what they called “biased news coverage.”
An NTU student on March 22 launched an initiative to ban broadcasts of CtiTV News at all student cafeterias on campus. It garnered the support of more than 4,000 people in four days.
In the following week, a number of NCCU students began urging others to “take back the TV remote control” at school cafeterias to prevent non-students from switching the channel to CtiTV News.
CtiTV News was on March 27 fined a total of NT$1 million (US$32,420) by the National Communications Commission for failing to adhere to the fact-verification mechanism stipulated in the Satellite Broadcasting Act (衛星廣播電視法), while its report on the “auspicious cloud” was listed as one of the instances where it breached the act.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday found four men guilty of attempted murder in the 2017 stabbing of Spanish surfer Ignacio Prio on a Pingtung County beach in the final ruling in the case, sentencing them to three-and-a-half to six years in prison. The defendants had appealed their convictions for attempted murder in the first and second rulings, which had also led to prison sentences ranging from three-and-a-half years to six years. The then-42-year-old Prio went to Jialeshui Beach (佳樂水) near Kenting (墾丁) on March 31, 2017, was attacked after he asked four men to remove their fishing lines from an area
‘IMMORAL, INSINCERE’: Huang Kun-huei said that Ma was ‘distorting history’ in claiming that Lee Teng-hui laid the foundation for the so-called ‘1992 consensus’ Former Presidential Office secretary-general Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) on Saturday rejected former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) claim that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had been a proponent of Beijing’s “one China” principle. Lee, who served as president from 1988 to 2000, died in Taipei on Thursday last week. After visiting the Taipei Guest House on Saturday to pay his respects to Lee, Ma posted on Facebook that “28 years ago on this day” Lee hosted a session of the now-defunct National Unification Council, during which he passed a resolution on the “one China” principle. That resolution became the basis of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s
NEW ERA: Taiwan, which has controlled its virus outbreak, now faces the challenge of safely resuming economic exchanges with other nations, Chang Shan-chwen said People should not focus entirely on having zero new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Taiwan, but neglect overall control over the disease situation, Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) specialist advisory panel convener Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳) said yesterday. Chang made the remark at a forum in Taipei discussing the steps Taiwan should take in the post-pandemic era, organized by the Chinese-language magazine Global Views Monthly. Chang, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director-General Chou Jih-haw (周志浩), and Stanford University’s Center for Policy, Outcomes and Prevention director C. Jason Wang (王智弘) each made a presentation, followed by a panel discussion with Chang, Wang and Buddhist Tzu
ANOTHER IMPORT: A Filipina who arrived on Friday to visit family developed a fever on Saturday and test results yesterday were positive, making her Taiwan’s 465th case The government’s real-name mask purchasing system is to be continued until at least the end of the year, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, as it reported a new imported COVID-19 case from the Philippines. The center would continue to requisition mask production to ensure people can buy masks using the real-name system until the end of December, said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), the CECC’s spokesman. While the CECC requisitions about 8 million masks per day to ensure there are enough for the real-name system, more than 10 million masks are produced per day