Taiwan CNA to sue Taipei city councilor for fake photo accusation

Photo of Kaohsiung recall march sparks debate between Han Kuo-yu supporters, opponents

CNA's photo of Kaohsiung recall march questioned for its credibility.

CNA's photo of Kaohsiung recall march questioned for its credibility. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Following an accusation by Kuomintang (KMT) Taipei City Councilor Yu Shu-hui (游淑慧) that CNA had forged a photo of the Kaohsiung recall march, Taiwan's state-owned Central News Agency (CNA) said Sunday (Dec. 22) that it would file a lawsuit against Yu for defamation.

On Saturday (Dec. 21), CNA published a report on the "1221 Wecare Taiwan Parade," a march organized by non-governmental organizations Wecare Kaohsiung (Wecare高雄) and Citizens Mowing Action (公民割草), to support their petition to recall KMT presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) as mayor.

Yu posted a photo from the article on Facebook, claiming that the photo had been edited to exaggerate the number of the participants.

The KMT politician called the photo "suspicious" and pointed out that the street signs and traffic lights were too close to one another to be real, reported Liberty Times. Her post was soon shared on CTi News and by many of Han's supporters.

In response to Yu's allegation, CNA released an official statement explaining that the photo was taken with a telephoto lens, which is often used to capture street views and wide-shot scenes, and that its report did not favor any particular political party. Many professional photographers also joined the fight, sharing their own photos shot with telephoto lenses and describing Yu and Han's followers as ignorant.

CNA also demanded that Yu and CTi News remove their posts related to the photo and issue official apologies, which Yu promptly refused to do. The Taipei city councilor said in a new post on Sunday that CNA's attempt to mislead through photographic techniques was pitiful, and she invited the news agency to sue her.

Thousands of Taiwanese netizens voiced their support for CNA on its Facebook page and said that Yu "has offended all photography enthusiasts." The "1221 Wecare Taiwan Parade" reportedly attracted half a million marchers, while the rival pro-Han rally was attended by some 350,000 people on the same day, according to ET today.

Taipei City Councilor Yu Shu-hui. (Facebook photo)