In LIFESTYLE

The World Wide Web & Our Right To Be In It

Again I am so sorry for not posting for another week. I have been busy setting my e-commerce website and getting all the administrative matters done for my new business, targeting to launch by the end of July, but I promised myself that blogging is a priority and it will always be a way of my life. This is because I am recording my legacy and history so that Caden and Charles will know who they are, what their mom hopes they stand for and what we have tried to do as parents so that they can grow as normally and as happily as they can be.

Although I am be slow in responding, I am very much attuned to what is happening around. Firstly I want to talk about something that is very close to what I am doing and that is the subject of blogging. Recently, there has been a lot of  fervor about the personal and trashy comments from a few bearish and unrefined gentlemen about Xiaxue, a celebrity blogger in her own right and her recent abuse of the literature and graphics which is available on the internet, which she used to name and shame her mud-slingers, who has so boorishly called her and her friends as “prostitutes from Geylang.”

This turned out to be a war on the internet, with Xiaxue aka Wendy Cheng, posting pictures obtained from Facebook of her adversaries. If I were in Wendy’s shoes, I would be enraged too. I would be antagonized because the men who attacked her used coarse and rude language such as “whore” which is extremely derogatory for a female. In my stance, I would seek legal counsel and sue the attackers for defamation. This would be heard in civil court and of course, the reputation of the barbaric men would be smeared and tarnished. Evidently, it is not worth all the while to engage a social media lawyer who would charge exorbitant legal fees and the case might also drag on due to extended hearing dates, not to mention the emotional baggage the verbally violated victim would have to go through. And since Wendy has celebrity blogger status, it is easy for her to launch an attack back on her offenders via blogging and posting their pictures. In my opinion,  whilst the internet including AWARE applauded her actions to stand up for her right, I feel that this might be the only way she could to come to terms with discourtesy and disrespect that she had to bear. Disregarding what we stand for in terms of our beliefs, political views, our conviction and what we perceive as righteous, I am of opinion that we should be polite and use cordial language to communicate our comments and ideas through to the other party.

In the cyberspace, we do not have regulatory bodies who would stop us from sharing information or writing profanities or having a crude agenda against a particular person or website, and this is because the internet is all about sharing information and obtaining information easily. It provides a platform for many people to communicate their ideas and share information, sometime very personal information. The internet makes all the people who are surfing or living in it. feel a lot closer as part of a global community. This has always been the vision of the World-Wide Web or internet or cyberspace. Like it or not, the information on the internet is open to anyone who has a computer and can log onto cyberspace. You cannot stop someone from posting some adverse remarks about you because similarly, you can use the same tactics to post derogatory remarks on your cyberspace assailant.

Because the cyberspace does not have cops policing around, we as bloggers must not forget our etiquette and finesse when we focus and work on a topic we are so enthused to blog about. Therefore, 5 days ago in the UK, the Justice Department sets to create a libel regime and web administrators might be forced under the new planned British laws to reveal the identity of those who post defamatory comments on their forums, a move to protect victims by speeding up what is often a lengthy and expensive legal process.

The British government wants a libel regime for the Internet that makes it possible for people to protect their reputations but they also want to ensure that information online cannot be so easily censored by casual remarks made against website operators. Both members of the public and companies have made angry threats to take up legal action against the Internet “trolls”, who circulate flashy remarks and allegations against them that could cost a lot of losses due to damage to their well-liked image and reputation. Under the new proposals, website operators will act as mediators to resolve disputes that arose for both the complainant and the author of the defamatory posts.

After the Xiaxue’s incident that flamed many parties, Singapore , through the Ministry of Infomation, Communications and the Arts (MICA), intends to introduce Personal Data Protection Bill in the 3rd quarter of this year. The Parliamentary Committee for Law and Home Affairs said that the case of Xiaxue and her perpetrators, illustrated and depicted the need for “clearer rules of engagement” on internet. The Bill to be passed by MICA, proposes that organizations, can collect an individual’s data and personal information only if it is deemed as necessary and consent has been given.

Internet security experts and social media lawyers alike have applauded to the Bill, hoping that it will help individuals know their rights. It would make it really clear who the policing people are on the World Wide Web and who we bloggers or consumers can go to if we are unfairly and poorly treated by Internet Orges who are out there thinking they are formidable critics who slams at all or most posts that antagonise them.

We, the people who live on Planet Earth, have our individual thoughts and opinions, therefore it would only be appropriate and correct to embrace differences in hypothesis, reasoning and judgements on varied subjects and topics. If you want to be happy in life and move on with cheer, optimism and enthusiasm in life, then we should be graceful and polite on the internet. If you treat someone with courtesy and kindness, you will definitely and positively receive the same treatment in return. Be nice on your posts and blog. Do not use the profanities or vulgarities on your blog and in cyberspace to illustrate your feeling and positions. Do not use your blog or the cyberspace as a spitting ground to vent all your unhappiness and anger because you are unable to find the same avenue in the real world. Like the real world, people who post and blog in cyberspace are real people with emotions, thoughts and a very sharp edged sword. The people of the digital age has the power and knowledge to post critical literature and graphical representation on the internet. Do not be a victim of mindless posting. Consider all the backlashes which you might receive from an accomplished archer in words.

Last but not least, our children are our future, show them that the cyberspace is a gracious, accommodating and friendly community to be in and to learn from.  Even though, we may set privacy settings to protect our children, their inquisitive nature will encourage them to seek ways to outplay educators and parents alike and solicit and watch adult only information on the internet. I think a lot of grade school children have a good vocabulary of profanities accumulated from learning from the internet. There is not way we can stop them because they have to use the internet to source for materials and complete a school project. During the time that we allow them to use the computer and internet, our children who have been fed with DHA for brain growth since babies, would have found ways to circumvent the privacy settings and view adult only information. Remember that it is we who post the adult only information and as adults, we use a multitude and wealth of appalling foul language and blasphemy on the internet. Do not be alarmed when your 6 year old ask you, “What does prostitute or whore means?’ Think about how you are going to explain the definition of “prostitute” and “whore” to your little ones.

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