Cy­ber­bul­ly­ing led to sui­cide of 24-year-old en­ter­tainer: fam­ily


On­line bul­ly­ing led a popular young en­ter­tainer to com­mit sui­cide two days ago in a tragic case that has brought about mas­sive public de­bate and gov­ern­ment in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Peng Hsin- yi ( ), also known by her stage name Cindy ( ), com­mit­ted sui­cide at her home in Taichung on April 21 af­ter be­ing re­lent­lessly sub­jected to cy­ber­bul­ly­ing. She was 24. Her death roused public at­ten­tion, con­dem­na­tion over cy­ber­bul­ly­ing, as well as heated de­bate over how leg­is­la­tors should step in to es­tab­lish an anti-cy­ber­bul­ly­ing act.

Many fa­mous celebri­ties and po­lit­i­cal fig­ures spoke out against cy­ber­bul­ly­ing, con­demn­ing those anony­mous bul­lies be­hind the screens who leave a per­ma­nent mark on oth­ers, lead­ing to sui­cide in ex­treme cases.

Peng’s el­der brother said yes­ter­day morn­ing that she was get­ting med­i­cal ther­apy for four to five months be­fore com­mit­ting sui­cide. In her death note, she pointed to­ward In­ter­net bul­lies for putting her in a fa­tal de­pres­sion that in the end she gave in to. She wrote that by her death, she hoped to awaken the public to the is­sue of cy­ber­bul­ly­ing.

Cy­ber­bul­ly­ing Penalty

Hard to De­fine

Ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Com­mis­sion (NCC, ), an on­line sys­tem called iWIN is in place for the public to re­port any cases of cy­ber­bul­ly­ing. In re­sponse, the NCC will in­form rel­e­vant au­thor­i­ties and will also pro­vide guide­lines for the vic­tims if they wish to take their cases to court.

More­over, po­lice added yes­ter­day that on­line bul­lies may be break­ing the Crim­i­nal Law and the Chil­dren and Youth Wel­fare Act, which can be pun­ish­able with up to 12 years im­pris­on­ment. How­ever, it is noted that most cases of cy­ber­bul­ly­ing, such as crim­i­nal li­bel, can­not be pros­e­cuted with­out a com­plaint by the vic­tim.

Cy­ber­bul­ly­ing pre­ven­tion and penal­ties have been de­bated world­wide. For law­mak­ers, how cy­ber­bul­ly­ing should be de­fined has been a strong point of con­cern, as has what means of sur­veil­lance of cy­ber­bul­ly­ing can be put in place when such ac­tiv­ity may be an in­tru­sion of pri­vacy, and how to avoid vi­o­la­tion of free­dom of speech when charges are pressed.

Peng’s Brother Launches Anti-Cy­ber­bul­ly­ing Cam­paign

Peng’s fam­ily said that they do not seek to ac­cuse par­tic­u­lar Web users or blogs of cy­ber­bul­ly­ing, but they hope to condemn and warn all that have ever com­mit­ted such acts, have left dam­ag­ing mes­sages or even just pressed “like” on a ha­rass­ing com­ment on Face­book, that they are ac­com­plices to cy­ber­bul­ly­ing. “I will set up an an­ti­cy­ber­bul­ly­ing cam­paign, in the hope to raise aware­ness and as­sis­tance from the peo­ple, to fight cy­ber­bul­ly­ing with us, in the name of my sis­ter,” said Peng’s brother yes­ter­day.


Peng Hsin-yi’s ( ) brother shows Peng’s cell­phone to the press, stat­ing that count­less mes­sages have come in sup­port of Peng and to de­cry cy­ber­bul­ly­ing since her sui­cide on Tues­day, April 21.

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