Taiwan to fine bloggers for false advertising

November 8, 2011
Customers are seen using Internet at a coffee shop in Taiwan. Taiwan on Tuesday passed a law which will fine bloggers who make false claims or exaggerate on behalf of products and companies as the number of consumer disputes soars.

Taiwan on Tuesday passed a law which will fine bloggers who make false claims or exaggerate on behalf of products and companies as the number of consumer disputes soars.

Under the revised fair trade law passed by the parliament, and other could be fined up to ten times the payment they receive for false advertising, officials said.

According to local media, some bloggers are paid up to Tw$70,000 ($2,300) per review. Often the reviews are disguised as innocent journal entries, while in fact they talk up products and services to lure customers.

One recent controversy involved a popular blogger with a daily average hit of 140,000 who fabricated photographs to exaggerate the effect of , local reports said.

Legal disputes involving Internet commentaries have been on the rise in recent years, mostly caused by negative rather than positive assessments.

Under a different law, a woman was recently ordered to pay a noodle shop Tw$200,000 for calling its food "really bad" on her blog.

(c) 2011 AFP