Taiwanese pop singer Aaron Yan posted a public apology on his Facebook page yesterday evening, only admitting to his scientifically flawed posts on the recent earthquake in Taiwan after staging a heated debate with netizens the entire day.
On Monday (Apr 20) morning, the 29-year-old posted about the 6.6-magnitude earthquake in eastern Taiwan that happened in the wee hours. Aaron tried to provide a reason for the earthquake out of goodwill when he wrote: “Previously, it hasn’t rained for a long time and this week, the sudden downpour caused the overly dry soil to become moist. This has caused the soil to erode and become loose, leading to the series of earthquakes.”
In reply, netizens mocked Aaron for his scientifically inaccurate explanation and criticised him for a lack of geographical knowledge.
Aaron then swiftly published three posts to clarify the issue, insisting that he had never stated that the earthquakes were definitely related to soil erosion. He even cited a statement by Kuo Kai-wen, director of Taiwan’s Seismology Centre, to support his views.
However, Kai-wen rebuked the 29-year-old by stating that “there is no link between soil erosion and the movement of tectonic plates (the common cause of earthquakes)”, causing Aaron to be reprimanded by netizens again for “being a smart aleck” and “refusing to admit to his mistakes”. Others even gave him a satirical nickname “Geography scholar”.
Not able to withstand pressure by netizens, Aaron published an apology at 6 pm in the evening. “I’m sorry that I caused people to worry that I may be imparting flawed knowledge. I really could have handled this issue better, I’m sorry.”