Freedom of speech does not include the right to purposefully inflict harm on victims of domestic abuse while hiding in anonymity, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Mark Ho (何志偉) said yesterday, one day after he had urged the closure of a bulletin board system on which people had accusations against DPP Legislator Kao Chia-yu (高嘉瑜), who is accusing her boyfriend of domestic abuse.
Freedom of speech and the diversity of opinions should be protected, and Taiwanese libel laws take this into account by giving special protection to criticism of public figures, Ho said.
However, insults based on events in public figures’ private lives are not protected, he said, adding that people who urge that intimate pictures of abuse victims be leaked are further traumatizing the victims.
Ho made the remarks to clarify earlier calls for the closure of the Professional Technology Temple (PTT), the nation’s largest online bulletin board system.
“PTT should be shut down,” Ho said on Friday. “Reading PTT comments, I found nothing but vulgar language, description of male or female genitalia and fake stuff that cannot be verified.”
He made the remarks in connection with Kao’s accusations against her boyfriend Raphael Lin (林秉樞).
Mirror Media magazine on Tuesday reported that Lin had allegedly locked Kao up in a hotel room for two days and threatened to leak intimate images of her if she does not stay in a relationship with him.
An account on a PTT board named “Crazy Winnie” later posted claims about the incident, apparently trying to clear Lin of the allegations
PTT on Thursday banned the account for 10 years, saying that the person behind Crazy Winnie held multiple accounts.
A PTT moderator called “q347” urged users to save messages they had received from Crazy Winnie claiming that the account holder had sent private video footage of Kao to the authorities for investigation.
Additional reporting by Yang Hsin-hui
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