Nowadays information is easier to gain through the Internet and its derivatives like Facebook, Youtube, MSN, and other forms of communication platforms. Unfortunately information acquired in this manner without proper verification and professional editing often blurs the ignorant and careless readers. Biased opinions would inevitably be formed.
A picture of old female street vendor pushing a small cart was being circulated on Facebook with the following remark: "The police of the East side of Taipei were really heartless. They wrote a 1200-dollar ticket to a poor woman selling pears at MRT Duhwa Station. Seeing this, I immediately bought two pears from her. She told me sobbingly that she was still fined even she had not had any food yet that day. Why were the police so cruel to write a ticket to this poor old woman? If you see her, do not forget to buy some pears from her."
What would you react to this post when you first saw it? The police were really a bunch of bad guys bullying a poor old vendor? Or you felt the same as I. In my opinion, though the old woman might be sympathetic, she was fined because she broke the law and the police were simply doing their job. If the police did not enforce the law, vendors might block the traffic or even worse, endanger public safety. The police would be accused of negligence of duty.
If the person who posted this picture really wants to help the poor old lady and the minority like her, she can try urging the city government to help street vendors do their business legally.
Tons of messages over Facebook, Youtube, or other Internet platforms were too easy to be taken them out of context. Wherever we read it, we must engage our judgment before accepting.