Responsible blogging

Not too long ago, I wrote an entry about how blogger Fragrance Prince was arrested for posting racist comments on his blog.

The idea of responsible blogging cannot be over-emphasised and I think this idea has been summed up pretty nicely in a post by iReflections on blogs and blogging:

I draw the line when it affects other people and institutions. We must be acutely aware of the impact we have. We hurt others inadvertently. This is not acceptable in my book.

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MySpace Suicide: Megan Meier

All is not well in cyberspace.

The suicide of Megan Meier as a result of cyberbullying highlights that cyberspace can be as dangerous and cruel a place as the real world. In fact, it can be even more insidious as you really don’t know who you are dealing with.

We’ve all talked about how one can disguise and masquerade as someone else on the Internet. You can choose to be 5 or 50, male or female, and try out different personas online. We all know about online fraud and the stealing of identities.

This time, it’s the creating of a fake online identity that has led to disastrous consequences.

And while we think that MySpace and Facebook as the stuff and playgrounds of teens, it was 49 year-old Lori Drew, mother of a teenage girl Megan had a falling-out with, who created a fake MySpace account under the name ‘Josh Evans’ to lure, tease and then taunt Megan to her death. Whatever happened to talking to the girl or her parents? In a bid to take revenge on Megan for not being friends with her daughter, Lori Drew worked out an elaborate scheme to hurt Megan.

The case has drawn controversy. There are numerous blog entries on it, and Youtube videos, and there’s even a wikipedia page devoted to it:

A federal grand jury indicted Lori Drew on May 15, 2008, on three counts of accessing protected computers without authorization to obtain information to inflict emotional distress, and one count of criminal conspiracy. A penalty of up to five years in prison corresponds to each of the four counts that the indictment carries. The case has caused several jurisdictions to consider legislation prohibiting harassment over the internet.

This case certainly highlights the need for better legislation regarding the use and misuse of cyberspace, as well as the need for education on how to handle cyberbullying and online pressure as well, as after all, online actions do effect real-life consequences. 

Racist blogger gets arrested

Last year, I wrote a post about racist bloggers in Singapore.

You’d think that after that episode, bloggers would be more careful about what  they blog about. I mean, come on, it would be pretty naive to still hang on to the notion that blogs are for your own eyes only, and that  they have no real consequences beyond the virtual world.

But, just yesterday, another Singaporean blogger has been arrested for putting up a racist blog. The 24 year-old goes by the onscreen moniker, Fragrance Prince.

When I tried to access the Fragrance Prince blog, I was given the message that the blog is only for invited readers. Looks like he’s wised up a little.

Anyway, some other bloggers managed to get hold of his so-called apology on his blog before he restricted access to it, and according to them, this is what Fragrance Prince said,

Quoted from http://fragranceprince.blogspot.com

Sincere Apologies
Dear Readers,

I would like to express my sincere apologies for any misinterpretation to my blog entry.

I regret having mentioned this entry in my blog which I didn’t expect it to turn out to be like this, I should have been more mindful.

Once again, I am sincerely apologetic for the recent events that had happen.

Your’s sincerely,
Franco

Well, apology or no apology, Fragrance Prince’s words have certainly caused a stink on the blogosphere and beyond.

Twitter Writing Contest

I came across a post on Copyblogger announcing a Twitter Writing Contest!

The contest requirement is to write the best 140-character story, and the best story will win the writer an iPod Nano (of course it’s got to be the nano!)

The post also writes:

It should be a great exercise and a lot of fun. Being constrained to exactly 140 characters will spark your creative juices and force you to focus stringently on word choice, sentence structure, and even punctuation.

Here’s an example that I tweeted over the weekend:

Three flies are bugging me on the deck. I kill two, and spare the third. “Go tell the others this is what happens,” I warn as he buzzes off.

Isn’t that such a great, cute tweet! Forget the essay, the novella, the short story, here comes the micro-tale!

If you think that ‘brevity is the soul of wit’ and want to give it a try, find out more at Copyblogger.

Clever Youtube marketing: Ghost sighting at Raffles Place

Interestingly, new media news made it to mainstream news. Last night’s news on Channel 5 featured a video on Youtube that has been getting many viewers lately.

Ghost sighting at Raffles Place   has been getting very popular with Youtube viewers. This and a series of other ‘ghost sightings’ sparked talk about whether ghosts had been spotted at Raffles Place.

Actually, the series is part of an advertising campaign by the GMP group to promote work-life balance and remind workers not to stay too late at the office! ‘No one should work late’, they say.

But of course, that’s not their only message. The group is using the series of videos to promote their job-matching services, which they reveal when they tell the truth behind the Raffles Place ghost  .

Many in PR and advertising have talked about how the marketing mix should consist of both traditional and new media, and GMP has just shown how new media such as free Youtube services can be used to good effect.

 

Malaysian blogger Raja Petra agrees to be out on bail

Yesterday, I wrote about Malaysian blogger, Raja Petra being jailed for sedition. Anyway, to follow-up on that post, he’s now agreed to post bail.

And it’s none other than his 54 year-old wife, Marina Lee Abdullah’s words, “I want you back” that helped Raja Petra change his mind. No doubt, his wife is concerned about his welfare and deteriorating health in jail especially when he’s embarked on a hunger strike.

Well, looks like there won’t be a need for any more candle light vigils for him.

 

Malaysian Blogger Raja Petra is jailed!

Key Malaysian blogger, Raja Petra has been charged for sedition after he wrote an article that suggested that key Malaysian politician, Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, is linked to the killing of a Mongolian woman.  The Malaysian blogger has been jailed and has gone on a hunger strike!

According to the article in Today, on April 2001, “Raja Petra and about 10 other opposition activists were rounded up under the Internal Security Act — which allows for detention without trial — for allegedly plotting to overthrow the government of former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. He was detained for 52 days, during which he refused food and water”.

Raja Petra is the editor of the Malaysia Today news portal and he was jailed on Tuesday after being charged with sedition over his online article, and his portal is a popular news blog that promotes discussion about Malaysia’s political and social scenes.

He is the first blogger to be charged under the Sedition Act and he has refused to post bail set at RM5,000 ($2,150), choosing to go behind bars till his trial begins on Oct 6, and using his jail time to make a statement. 

This case will be closely watched, especially at a time when society is starting to come to grips with the use of the law on the blogospehere.