TAIPEI (CNA) – The Cabinet on Thursday approved two draft amendment bills to prohibit the local media and Internet service providers from running political ads paid for by foreign interests.
The draft amendments to the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act and the Presidential and Vice Presidential Election and Recall Act are aimed at countering disinformation and foreign influence on Taiwan’s elections, Premier Lai Ching-te (賴清德) said in a Cabinet meeting.
The draft bills ban newspapers, magazines, radio and TV broadcasters, digital communications providers and Internet service providers from carrying election-related ads funded by sources in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao, or other foreign countries.
The penalty for violation of the law is a maximum fine of NT$10 million (US$324,236) or up to twice the cost of the ad, according to the draft bills.
They also stipulate that all election-related ads must state the name of the advertiser, not just the media organization as is currently required.
Media organizations and advertising brokers will be responsible for verifying the source of the funding for election ads, according to the draft bills.
By Elaine Hou and Christie Chen