Tue, Jan 07, 2020 - Page 3 News List

2020 Elections: Foundation encouraged fake posts, Han camp says

By Ann Maxon  /  Staff reporter

Anne Wang, spokeswoman for Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu’s campaign, at a news conference at KMT headquarters in Taipei yesterday holds material showing New Culture Foundation social media posts.

Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times

The New Culture Foundation, which was established by Representative to Japan Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), allegedly encouraged people to post “irrational” messages on social media while pretending to be supporters of Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), Han’s presidential campaign office said yesterday.

“The New Culture youth team,” a Facebook page affiliated with the foundation, on May 14 created a Facebook post titled: “How to appear like a Han fan when leaving a comment,” campaign office spokeswoman Anne Wang (王淺秋) told a news conference at the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) headquarters in Taipei.

While the post has been removed, screenshots provided by Wang showed it listing “six steps to appear to be a Han fan.”

They included writing without logic or punctuation, choosing words frequently used by “middle-aged and dark-blue” people, such as “green maggots” to refer to Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) supporters, and posting on pages critical of Han.

“Remember not to mention [Han’s campaign slogan of] getting rich, because that would make others suspect that you are just pretending to be a fan,” the screenshots showed.

The how-to guide has “harmed Taiwan’s democracy” and could undermine the image of the KMT’s presidential candidate and his supporters, Wang said.

Every year, the New Culture Foundation receives more than NT$100 million (US$3.32 million) combined in government subsidies and from companies to organize school teams and study camps, she said.

“Are the DPP, Hsieh and the New Tide faction using government money to fund their online influence campaigns?” she asked. “In those campaigns, do they attack their opponents while pretending to be Han fans?”

The foundation said that the Facebook page provides a platform for students to discuss current affairs and is run by students.

The foundation fully respects students’ freedom of speech and has never tried to manipulate the platform, it said in a statement.

Han’s integrity, remarks and behavior has often been mocked by younger people on the Internet, it said, adding: “That is not something the platform can influence or restrict.”

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top