Taipei, Two people who shared a photograph said to be of earthquake damage to a road in Taipei City are facing charges for "causing public panic," the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) said Sunday.
The CIB identified the two as a woman surnamed Lai and a man with the last name Wang (?). Both have been questioned by police for posting a photo with a caption claiming "massive cracks appear on Songren Road in Taipei City" on social media April 18 after a magnitude 6.1 quake hit eastern Taiwan.
The "cracks" were later confirmed by Taipei city engineers to be asphalt fillers applied to the road during previous maintenance work, but the post had already caused panic among netizens, the police said.
A taskforce created by CIB's Electronic Surveillance Division to determine the source of the photograph first identified Lai as one of the sources of the "fake news."
However, Lai, a woman in her twenties who lives in Taichung, claimed she only forwarded the photo which she saw online.
The taskforce then identified Wang, an engineer who works at a technology firm in Taipei, as the source of the photo in the follow up investigation on April 23.
Wang admitted he took the photo right after the quake and posted it to a LINE group without verification, not realizing that doing so without verification could have serious legal consequences.
The two face charges for violating the Social Order Maintenance Act, which prohibits spreading rumors that undermine public order and peace, punishable by detention of not more than three days or a fine of up to NT$ 30,000 (US$963.00).
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel