Welcome to the Internet. You may leave your kindness at the door.

 

The internet is the mask for mankind. With this layer of anonymity, we are empowered to be anything we want to be. And some chose to be faux comedians, armchair politicians and career trolls. You say yea, i’ll say nay. You say tomayto, i’ll say tomahto. Talking about politics, religion, race or sexual orientation? Then fists up, brace yourself for a comment war.

Take for example the campaign by “Chope food for the needy“. Such a heartwarming, endearing campaign to promote a little bit of concern and trust amongst Singaporeans, yet it can gather comments like this:

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And that’s just for an innocent campaign.

When it gets to matters of politics, things get a bit more hairy.

Heard of this guy called Jason Chua? He’s had his telephone number and address circulated. All manner of characters are encouraged to harress him just because he’s a supporter of… well, the Party that shall not be named.

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(“Harry”…”Lightning”…y’know? y’know?)

 

Seriously? Circulating his telephone number, address and encouraging people to give him nuisance calls just because his political preference is different from yours? If people are behaving like hooligans on the internet, then maybe a law really should be pushed to make such behaviour prosecutable. If you’re gangster in real life, you’re liable for legal action. If you’re gangster online, no difference.

You know, I am a firm advocate of the freedom of speech and now I am in a dilemma. I find it hard to put my finger on the line defining what is nauseatingly annoying and what is a right to say something. “Don’t like don’t read lor” you can argue… but try telling that to Amy Cheong.

On the big white underbelly of the internet, vulgarities, insults and photo manipulations lurk. All these paint a nasty portrait and I don’t see how going ad-hominium on someone can add to the betterment of society.

There is a difference between criticising a politician’s policies and making fun of his daughter, father, choice of bag brand. The opposition politicians too face attacks from over zealous PAP supporters – body size, diction, debating skills.

I say, let he who has no personal flaw, hurl the first insult.

Whatever your views, surely you must have strong arguments to back it up. Being sarcastic, trying to be funny or going all rude on someone is the loudest way of telling the world “I’M AN OVER ZEALOUS PRICK AND I’M ALWAYS RIGHT”.

So how about it? Let us support free speech, with a gentleman’s discussion. If you’re not in the mood for a discussion, that is also a respectable choice. But at least let’s promote responsible comments and posts. We can all do something to help make this internet a more pleasant place to skive.

 

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2 replies »

  1. All this hooliganism has potential to turn into a slippery slope of escalating antisocial behaviour. Just look at some countries-which-shall-not-be-named not too far off from our shores…

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