Taiwan News reported that a photograph of the building, which is still under construction inKaohsiung, Taiwan, was shared on Facebook with a caption saying that the structure had collapsed when, in reality, everything was completely fine. Apparently, the appearance of the building’s unconventional design led people to believe that something had gone wrong.
The rumor started benignly enough. Fan Chiang of New Taipei City received a message from a friend with a joke saying that the building had collapsed, but Fan Chiang believed that the building actually had collapsed and posted an alarming message in a Facebook group, where the news was believed and spread panic across the country. Fan Chiang took down the post when he realized that the news of the collapse was a joke, but it was too late to quiet the online storm.
Under Taiwanese law, Fan Chiang is guilty of spreading misinformation and faces criminal charges.