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How Fighter inspired the passing of a law

Recently someone alerted me to the passing of a law in a country outside of Malaysia. The law covers harassment in the online sphere – including online sexual harassment, cyberbullying and unlawful stalking.

You know what the interesting thing is?

In the exact word during the passing of the law, here’s what the Minister of Law said:

In another case, cyberbullies targeted the baby of a blogger. The blogger had given birth prematurely because there was a life-threatening condition during the pregnancy. Cyberbullies called her baby an ‘alien’. They said the baby should be euthanised. This was really quite sickening behaviour. It comes from basic bullying instincts of some, unchecked by any notion of civil conduct, and aided by anonymity.

Wah!  My case leh!

Basically for those who are not in the know, when Fighter was born and was in the NICU, we posted his photos on Instagram because…. well because we loved him.  He was our newborn baby who we’d fought hard to bring into the world safely and he was doing a fantastic job fighting to be healthy and grow.

Obviously we were happy and excited and worried at the same time and we wanted to share it with our followers…. and then those two crazies appeared.

They suggested all sorts of things – like Fighter was an ‘alien’, that I was a druggie which is why Fighter was born like that, that Fighter should be ‘euthanized’. -_-  My full blog post on it here.

Anyway there was a pretty big uproar over the behavior those two subhumans, and it even appeared in the Singaporean papers!  Which is I guess why the Singapore government unanimously passed this law.

Quite cool right!!!! I can say Fighter and I contributed to the passing of a real life law in a real country okay hahahaha bucket list checked lol.

I sometimes think that there should be a higher level of accountability when it comes to online identities.

For example, you’re not allowed to register for a social media account or email address unless you can legitimately connect it to your real identity.  Therefore everyone is responsible and liable for what their actions, as is the case in the real world.

Obviously there’s a lot to consider and counter arguments to this as well.  Not gonna go through the ethics and logistical implementation of this right now la, but the truth is, people feel a sort of liberation when it comes to being online.

Why ah?

Is it some evil basic human instinct to wanna do something (online, it’s leaving comments) that will cause someone else pain or trouble?  Does that make people feel good about themselves?  Do you feel superior and happier when someone else is down.

And better still, you don’t have to be accountable! Wanna be Satan and create havoc online? Can ah and you don’t even need to answer for it!

Or is it when you’re hiding behind a keyboard and a screen and you don’t see your victim, it’s much easier to inflict pain?  Take for example an officer sitting behind a computer board.  All he has to do to kill is press a button and somewhere a bomb will detonate.  People die but you don’t see them so it’s like characters in a video game.  I’ve never been in this situation but I’m guessing it’s a whole lot easier than running up to someone on a battlefield and stabbing them with a bayonet, then having to see their dying face and knowing you caused it.

It’s the same when it’s cyber bullying.  You don’t physically see the hurt you cause your victim, so you’re absolved from the guilt and your conscience that would normally govern your behavior.  Just create an anonymous account and nobody will know it’s you and you can still have your good guy image.

Like those two horrible fellas who cyber bullied us.  I really cannot imagine anyone saying the things they did to another person, face to face.  Yet they clearly felt okay typing all this on Instagram.

MCMC (Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission) is actually running an awareness campaign about responsibility while being on the Internet – “Klik dengan bijak” and asked if I would share my story which is what got me writing this.

The Internet is the biggest part of our lives now (Captain Obvious) so I’m sure everyone has had some sort of encounter with cyber bullying and other irresponsible actions and has felt it.  It can be as small and petty as a comment saying “Ugly eyebrows” or something as serious as asking me to put my baby to ‘sleep’. -_-

Besides laws and fear of punishment, the only thing that’s keeping humans from doing the wrong thing is our conscience.  Without a conscience (and maybe intellectual thought), we’re no better than animals.

So click wisely.  Think before you leave a nasty comment – would you say this to the person next to you? How would you feel if someone said that to you? What are you hoping to achieve?

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And to spite those haters, here’s Fighter now at 18 months.  Thriving and handsome yo!  And his theme song is Gloria Gaynor “I Will Survive” hahaha.

#klikdenganbijak

 

  • Winnie Loo

    Monica Lewinsky: The price of shame | Talk Video | TED.com

    I’d recommend listening to this, I listened to it just yesterday. It’s about cyber bullying, or bullying over the media in general, and how much harm it can cost a person. Really really insightful, and it made me cry.

  • disqus_BdOLC1pcNm

    Recently in the US, there was a baby born without a nose. It wasn’t mom’s fault in any way – just a genetic fluke. Some idiot decides to PM her on FB and say he looks so ugly, she should’ve gotten an abortion, and that he should be put up for adoption. And she used her actual name and photo! The gall of some people…we still don’t have laws protecting this type of speech and FB doesn’t want to limit free speech but at least we had public shaming.

  • Lauren Nicole O’Hara

    This is such an important subject. Thank you for posting. Fighter is adorable, tbh all babies don’t get their features until about 3 months when they start to fatten out anyway! Cyberbullies are horrible and I am glad there is a law where you are

  • Lisa M. Babler

    Agreed. The Internet is like any other “place” where people can interact and individuals should be held accountable for their actions (whether it’s bullying, hate speech, threats, etc.).

  • http://www.moonangelko.blogspot.com/ Katie (Angel)

    I remember when I was younger and my nephew was just born and I made a joke that all newborns look like aliens to me. Long story short, I ended up getting decked in the face by my sister. Joke or non-joke even 12 year old me knew better than to say things about another person’s child (I only said the joke cuz that was my sister), why do people on the internet not have the same common sense logic? Karma will be a nasty bitch when these people decide to breed.

  • fourfeetnine

    Oh I’ve heard about her talk but I haven’t listened to it. Thanks for sharing!

  • fourfeetnine

    What’s wrong with that person!!! On the other hand, a cyberbullying law can easily be abused to restrict free speech so I think the implementation of that law has to be done very responsibly. The law abused can also be wielded to restrict political dissension and a lot of other things…

    That said, I hope people called up that person you mentioned!

  • fourfeetnine

    I think kids sometimes just don’t think before saying things and you can still forgive that. But those people were full fledged 20 something adults. One even looked like she had a kid herself! Don’t understand how she could do that without having it on her conscience.

  • fourfeetnine

    Exactly! The Internet is just another avenue for communication, just like the regular offline world and people should be expected to behave the same way they do in real life

  • fourfeetnine

    The law is in Singapore, not Malaysia 🙁 Wish we had one here too!

  • SGSGgirl

    haha last time 阮玲玉 said 人言可畏.. now worse, with internet, anyone can talk rots anytime. cyber bullying isn’t even new

  • fourfeetnine

    Nobody is saying it’s a new phenomenon ah. i’m saying that i wish there’s some sort of rule to moderate such behavior online.

  • SGSGgirl

    nah I not saying you said it’s new. what I mean is cyber bully is not new and is a problem… but very hard to moderate … authority must put in effort

  • Jackie Tapalansky

    People suck 🙁 The anonymity gives people internet balls so they think it’s ok to say whatever they want because they don’t have to see the reaction. I would have been so upset by those comments, especially after everything you guys went through with Fighter. Glad this law was passed! You guys rock 🙂

  • Eugene Tan

    With anonymity comes power and with power, humans tend to be evil. You can read about the Standord prison experiment to read more about that. But in that particular comment you posted, it seems like it is naive truthful comment in her view with no intention to hurt.

  • fourfeetnine

    hey eugene, I don’t know if you read my previous blog post which I linked but they were definitely NOT being naive and they did have intention to hurt. even the comment I posted – why would you say a baby’s face can be fixed with a beautifying app? how is that in any way not meant to be hurtful? they also called my baby an alien and accused me of being a druggie, causing him to be born premature. I’m very surprised you think this is just being naive.

  • http://www.tenshichn.blogspot.com/ Tenshichn

    He’s already making waves because he’s taking his parent’s footstep on being influential. haha… there’ll always be crappy people all ard..

    http://tenshichn.blogspot.com/2015/04/162-benzac-your-absolute-acne-free-skin.html

  • fourfeetnine

    Yea… sucks that we gotta encounter them wtf

  • suanie

    People have dumb moments. Hope you’ve recovered from their stupidity 🙂

  • #SayNoToCyberbullying

    Are you aware that your friend xiaxue is being sued by another blogger Grace Tan for cyberbullying?