Home > Random > Haters gonna hate, but let the national conversation reign online!

Haters gonna hate, but let the national conversation reign online!

I think Singapore is only just coming of age when it comes to open public discourse on national/social issues. The ‘report police if got racist tweet’ is a clear sign of how we are not ready yet. Not that I’m supporting racism, but I think this shows that we are not ready and mature enough to handle a truly public space where we can debate so-called ‘sensitive matters’ openly.

It is almost an insult to even suggest that some groups of people in Singapore will turn physically violent just because of some comments and remarks made. Yes, remind me about the riots, and maybe even the recent incidents in India, but do we want to grow up, or stay mollycoddled?

Ranters will rant. Just like not everyone talking crap in the coffeeshop can be stopped, so will some corners of our cyberspace be full of such conversations. Our alarm bells should come on only when such talk becomes mainstream.

So what of this whole xenophobia which Singaporeans seem to be exhibiting en masse? For one, I think we are to blame when it comes to targeting the wrong thing. It is natural and easy to blame the foreign worker we see face to face rather than the policies that may need fine-tuning.

And when the middle-ground voices its concerns about the policies, or the direction of policies, some of the haters will just mix their poisonous human attacks and just discredit the whole conversation. And we retreat.

So should we ban the poisoners? In an ideal case, I hope that public chastisement will be enough to keep such explosive talk away from our mainstream cyberspaces. In the meantime, some proactive moderation, or community moderation, will be good while we’re ‘growing up’.

As a fly-on-the-wall in cyberspace, I find it extremely encouraging that there have been more ‘moderating’ voices on popular forums like Yahoo Singapore, and even EDMW etc. As a start, people are no longer taking things wholesale without verification (Most senior EDMWers value their street-cred when they start sagas, and I respect that).

And I like how the police have not been (publicly at least) reacting to some of those police reports about ‘offensive tweets’. But as we are still infants in this respect, they still do maintain a threshold which they enforce in certain cases.

There’s this whole thing about ‘national conversation’. Let’s make it happen. There will be bumps on the way, but let good sense prevail.

Tip: I’ve learnt that not responding within 10 seconds of reading an online comment improves the quality of your response by 90% 🙂

And since we’re on the issue of hate-speech and integration:Image

Categories: Random
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  1. 27 August at 10:38 am

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