Netizens in the News

Recently, there’s been some news in Singapore about netizens who have drawn both praise and flak for their actions.

First is a blogger who chose to test the OCBC. What did she do? She went into the Marine Parade branch of the bank and stated that it was her birthday and that the bank should give her a birthday cake, just like in the ad on TV. The bank manager finally decided to give her the cake, after explaining that she took the message in the ad too literally!

She went on to blog about what she did, and has generated quite a lot of discussion online. Some laud her for standing up for consumer rights, while others think that she was being unreasonable. Whatever the case, she created something that she could blog about, and stirred up the online community, perhaps beyond what she herself imagined. What she did, will no doubt, make companies sit up and take notice and be more mindful of the messages they are sending out.

The other case involves something more sinister. Videos and photos have been posted online showing a skimpily clad woman being molested by 4 men at a new year countdown party. What is scary about this is not just the act of indecency itself, but the indecent behaviour of the bystanders who instead of helping the victim, and stopping the men, chose to whip out their cameras to record the act. What is wrong with these people? Are they so engrossed with their sordid ideas of citizen journalism that they chose to record and post the act than actually do something to help the situation. Not surprisingly, there’s been much discussion among netizens on this, with some spreading rumours about the victim, and generalising the race of the men caught in the act. Let’s hope that the  discussion comes back to focusing on the crime that was committed and how it should now be handled, and how such a situation could be avoided in the future. For one, people should choose to help, than just standby and gawk.


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An intrepid explorer into the the brave new dimensions of the blogosphere and new media landscape.

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