Authorities have reported 178 cases of spreading misinformation about the coronavirus since Jan. 23, among which 112 persons were brought to justice, according to the National Police Agency (NPA) under the Ministry of the Interior.
The IP addresses of the recent 46 reported cases that the NPA has already investigated are located overseas, the agency said. Besides, the reported cases are written in simplified Chinese characters and some word choices are similar to the words that Chinese people use, the NPA added.
Accordingly, authorities believe that the recent surge in recent fake news cases could originate from overseas (Chinese) who might try to confuse Taiwan nationals by forging official documents, the NPA added.
The agency has called for the public to carefully identify the circulating misinformation and never share those suspicious messages. Those found guilty of spreading fake news could be fined up to NT$3 million (US$99,245) and sentenced up to three years in prison.