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What is the 'I am not killing myself' Declaration?

TAIPEI, Taiwan — The "I am not killing myself" Declaration is making the rounds again after the post on Lee Shih-tseng's (李石增) Facebook page first went viral soon after being posted on July 5.

You can read why here, but what is this declaration, anyway?

Short answer: a meme.

It dates back to 2014, when it gained popularity on Taiwan's hugely popular PTT forum, and is a list of statements indicating that the writer isn't expected to commit suicide or die a natural death anytime soon. The declaration is usually made by a user after they express a controversial view or post sensitive information.

The statements are meant to show, usually in a half-joking way, that a post could risk the writer "being suicided" and that if they turn up dead, foul play is afoot. Example include:

— "I'm optimistic and healthy."

— "I'm NOT an alcoholic, nor do I have a drug addiction."

— "I check my brakes before driving."

PTT users later crowd-sourced a declaration template, which was adopted by the mainstream media and has been used even by politicians.

And in case you're wondering, the declaration is not a legally valid document, according to lawyer Hou Chih-hsiang (侯志翔).

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