A New Taipei City resident is to be fined for distributing a false notice about China’s restrictions on travel to Taiwan, according to a ruling posted by the Shilin District Court yesterday.
In August, a notice circulated on social media said: “Due to current cross-strait relations, it has been decided that starting August 1, 2019, trial points for individual travel by Mainland residents to Taiwan in 47 cities will be suspended. Starting August 15, travel by all residents to Taiwan will be banned. Starting September 1, all Mainland residents in Taiwan will be withdrawn. On September 10, the withdrawal will be complete.”
The notice was falsely attributed to the Association for Tourism Exchange Across the Taiwan Straits.
Sources said Huang used Line to forward the false notice to members of a chat group named “Sijhih Friends” (汐止好友).
The judge determined, based on a report by the Taiwan FactCheck Center, that the original notice from the association only indicated that “Starting August 1, 2019, trial points for individual travel by Mainland residents to Taiwan in 47 cities will be suspended,” the court said.
The other information contained in the notice was false, it said.
The individual, surnamed Huang (黃), admitted there were questions as to the message’s truth when it was seen in a chat group on WeChat, but the message was not verified, the ruling said.
The judge determined the false information was “enough to affect public peace,” it added.
The judge stated Huang is in violation of Article 63, Item 5 of the Social Order Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法): “Spreading rumors in a way that is sufficient to undermine public order and peace.”
Huang has been issued a fine of NT$3,500, the ruling said, adding that Huang can still appeal the case.
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