Taipei Times: 2020 Elections: Foundation encouraged fake posts, Han camp says

The New Culture Foundation, which was established by Representative to Japan Frank Hsieh (謝長廷)

“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

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

“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.”

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