Fake Facebook obituary for Taiwan vice president originated in China

Text with picture alleged Vice President-elect William Lai had been infected with Wuhan coronavirus

A CIB spokesman with the fake obituary 

A CIB spokesman with the fake obituary  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A fake obituary claiming that Vice President-elect William Lai (賴清德) had died of a coronavirus infection included expressions popular in China, indicating the origin of the posting, investigators said Thursday (March 26).

After a tipoff from a member of the public, the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) investigated the item and concluded the Facebook account was not Taiwanese. It used simplified characters common in China and expressions not used by Taiwanese, CNA reported.

As it was fake news, the CIB said it had asked Facebook to suspend the account and remove the post. Taiwan has been battling a rising tide of fake news originating in China, first in the run-up to January’s presidential and legislative elections, and later during the fight against the coronavirus.