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Taipei to continue monitoring Apple Daily for obscenity
Apple Daily said government obstructs them from releasing news and will file lawsuit
Central News Agency
Page 1
2009-11-29 12:00 AM
Taipei City Mayor Hau Lung-bin yesterday said he has taken notice of Apple Daily's measures to warn youngsters against news presentation that may be unsuitable for them, but that the city will monitor the newspaper for a period of time to see if it is still in violation of relevant regulations.

"Because there had been serious offenses, the city Bureau of Social Affairs will continue its monitoring for a while to see whether the follow-up practice meets the Children and Youth Welfare Act's regulations and requirements," Hau said.

The newspaper was slapped with a NT$1 million fine and Hau ordered all city schools and public libraries to stop subscribing to the newspaper after news stories were found to have been presented in an obscene manner on the paper's Action News Web site.

Starting Nov. 16, the online news service presented readers animated reports on news stories, such as domestic violence, sexual abuse and murder, using often disturbing motion graphics and narration to report the news.

A 2D bar code, also known as quick response (QR) code, printed on the newspaper provides easy access to the Action News videos. Using cell phones to scan the code, readers can immediately watch the animated news clips on their mobile phones.

The way the news content was presented on the Web site has sparked anger among parents, educators and civil groups.

Apple Daily yesterday set up a rating system for its online news, which divides its news contents into two categories: restricted and unrestricted, with the restricted contents labeled with a warning against viewing by underage audience.

The Apple Daily, however, said it will file a lawsuit against Hau for conducting a "coercion offense."

"The series of rude behaviors have obviously obstructed the Apple Daily from releasing news, " a newspaper spokesman told reporters, noting that the daily can not accept the treatment and will file the lawsuit next week.

In response, city government spokeswoman Chao Hsin-ping said that the measures to bar the Apple Daily and Action News on campus are all aimed at protecting minors.

The city government has not violated the law with its actions, Chao said, adding it does not know what legal grounds the media outlet can use to file the lawsuit.

Hau told reporters yesterday that he does not think the lawsuit will be accepted by the court.

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