Weblogs and Taiwanese politics

What does a Taiwanese politician do when he finds out about weblogs – and that people are using them to make fun of him? He blames his opponent and then sues him:

Legislator Chou Hsi-wei (周錫瑋), the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) candidate in the key Taipei County commissioner race, yesterday filed defamation and public humiliation lawsuits against the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) candidate, Luo Wen-chia (羅文嘉), for allegedly posting libelous information about him on an Internet Web site linked to Luo’s campaign site.

The offending website is 瑋哥部落格 (or Wiego’s blog), which seems to be a very standard blog which has a grand total of 15 entries since it started last September. Is there any evidence that this is the work of Luo Wen-chia and not some random pro-DPP internet user? Not according to Luo:

In response, Luo yesterday repeated that the blog has nothing to do with his campaign, and criticized Chou for being ignorant about the blog culture that is now especially popular among young people.

“Chou’s accusations only exposed his ignorance of blogs and youth culture,” Luo said. “I can only describe Chou’s reaction using `five noes.’ He has no idea about the law, blogs, young people, or world trends — and he has no sense of humor.”

“As far as I know, a blog is usually written by the type of young person who just doesn’t fit Chou’s political profile,” Luo said. “They use their imagination and creativity to voice their thoughts.”

Unless there is some real evidence linking Luo to this blog, Chou is coming out of this looking like a complete idiot, and Luo as someone who actually understands this new-fangled internet thingy.

Whoever is responsible for this blog (and my money is on someone who is now shitting himself that his little hobby is making front page news and threats of lawsuits), one thing is clear: his website is now massively popular. How popular? Well, my website is the 5th result on a search for a misspelling of his blog at Yahoo (search for 偉哥部落格 on Yahoo!) and I’ve had nearly 500 separate searchers click though in less than 2 days … so 330,000 hits per day looks like a fair figure. Now, how can I convince Chou to complain about my blog?

Update: As mentioned in the comments, the blog author (22-year-old Tseng Yen-wei) has come out to publically say he (along with 99.9999% of other blogs out there) has no links to senior government figures – hardly surprising to anyone with the most basic knowledge of blogs. Unfortunately, the writer of this hilarious article (found via Michael) hasn’t got the most basic knowledge … here’s a sample:

… ahead of next month’s crucial municipal election high-tech blogging designed to draw large numbers of politically alienated voters to the polls …
But this year they have been joined by state of the art computer attacks
Using high-tech computer programs, the blog ridicules Chou …
A sleek animation shows Chou blinking his eyes in disbelief

High-tech blogging, eh? I’ve got to get me some of that!

9 thoughts on “Weblogs and Taiwanese politics

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  4. Wolf Reinhold

    No body reads blogs anyway for the most part. Out of the literally hundreds of thousands (if not more) blogs, only a handful actually get any real hits. This one, no offense, would get more traffic if it had something relevant to its subject in its title.

  5. Tim Maddog

    That blog sure is getting some traffic now, thanks to Chou! Hahaha!

    My wife tells me the “Wiego” blogger appeared on local Chinese-language TV news last night and he’s fighting back, having denied any connection to Luo and saying that if his blog gets shut down because of Chou’s accusations that the political talk shows should be, too.

    This was also covered in today’s Liberty Times; the print edition of that paper even had the blogger’s photo. As long as he’s telling the truth, he should say it out loud. Let the pan-blues show their true faces via their reactions.

  6. David

    Wolf – yeah that’s the big joke: a couple of hundred people would probably have seen that blog before Chou publicised it. Now it’s got over 1000 comments on its latest post! (As for giving my blog a meaningful name – yeah I have thought about that …)

    Tim – thanks. I’ve updated the post to mention who the author is.

  7. Michael Turton

    What are you talkin’ about! That is state of the art blogging! ROFL. I was more interested in the appearance of a blog at the center of a political campaign. We’re going to see a lot more of that, and a lot nastier, done from overseas where it can’t be gotten at. The 2006 election is going to be a mess, and 2008 even worse. Of course 90% of blogging is done by the young whose only response to politics is reflexive criticism..

    Look at that blogger’s face there in the Liberty Times — that’s YOU someday David. Maybe Pasuya Yao will “su ya” one of these days for all those kind things you said about him. Two years ago some jerk reported my Taiwan website to the govmint and had me investigated. I cut off the investigation with a couple of irate letters. Still…..


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