Unauthorized people who trespass on the media zone at Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) rallies will be removed and dealt with by police officers, the party said in a statement yesterday.
The statement came after a YouTuber sparked controversy by filming reporters at a DPP campaign event in New Taipei City on Saturday night and insinuating that they were members of a “cyberarmy.”
The YouTuber, nicknamed “Jun Jun” (鈞鈞), who is a supporter of Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate, entered the seating area reserved for journalists at the rally.
She livestreamed footge of reporters as they worked and approached them from behind as they typed on their computers. She also said they were paid by the DPP.
“You see, these young people here typing on their computers. Everyone can see, 1450, right?” Jun Jun said during the livestream, adding that Han’s campaign team does not have the resources to pay for a “cyberarmy” to write news reports.
The term “1450” has been used by some people, including Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), to refer to their online critics, who they claim have been hired by the DPP to disparage them.
The reporters, who work for various media companies, later said they were angry about being filmed, with some saying that they are considering suing Jun Jun for filming them without permission and violating their privacy.
They condemned Jun Jun’s actions and denied they were working for the DPP.
The incident sparked heated discussions online, with many Internet users condemning Jun Jun for branding the reporters cyberarmy members, while others said it showed the “stupidity” of Han fans.
The DPP “strongly condemns the unauthorized entry [of Jun Jun] into the media zone to livestream reporters without permission,” the statement said.
Jun Jun also disclosed some of the reporters’ names and the media companies they worked for, and insinuated that they worked for a “cyberarmy,” it said.
The DPP condemns this interference with media professionals’ work, it said, calling Jun Jun’s actions “disrespectful and lacking in basic etiquette.”
“They also contravened the laws on personal privacy,” it added.
The DPP would work toward improving measures to protect the rights of media workers at campaign events, the statement said.