I’m opening this topic of discussion to the floor.
The recent case of Yio Chu Kang Member of Parliament (MP) Seng Han Thong being set on fire last month, triggered a mixed reactions from the netizens of Singapore. Senior Minister of State Lui Tuck Yew was quoted saying this
It was disappointing, and my impression is that I do not think the community itself have done enough to rebut some of these unhelpful comments delivered by fellow netizens.
This led to a trigger reaction from both netizens wondering if stricter internet regulation was about to occur in Singapore.However, Minister Liu immediately rectified that by claiming the following
They seem to have misconstrued my remarks as “a desire for more regulation on the Internet”. Let me say clearly that I am not advocating this position
The online discussion was abuzz with comments and you can check out such an example here.
But my 2 cents worth on all this boils down to 3 points
1) Self-regulation is already present. To want self regulation on the internet is to expect a few folks to rebut every negative or non-positive comment being made.But why do that when the basic rules of engaging in a group conversation applies to online comments on blogs and forums as well.
Going back to basics of engagement from a personal level, you will notice people who make useless or negative comments which have no value add to the conversation. These people tend to be ignored. Negative comments which do open up possibilities of a way to improve or stimulate discussion, eventually benefits the community. Hence, the community is already self regulatory in that way. I sincerely believe the Singapore community is mature enough to be able to differentiate “Noise” and true conversations occurring online.
2) Engagement by the government. Basics of communications demands that you answer your relevant stakeholders using the most effective medium to ensure that your medium is put across. I thought this was an excellent opportunity for the government to have engaged the conversation where it was at, to provide thought leadership on a medium which is still in a development phase.
Even carrying the conversation offline by engaging influences in a dialogue discussion would have been an excellent step forward.
3) Opportunity for Singapore to take the lead in online conversations. Obama has already shown successful use of social tools to engage Gen Y during his campaign to become president. It would be interesting to see, for the rest of his term, how he manages to carry on that engagement. It would be a lot to ask for us to move in that direction, but the idealist in me sincerely believes that the leaders we have could bring us to that same level of communications.
This topic is still open for discussion and any feedback to stimulate discussion is greatly appreciated. I leave it to you to dictate how this goes!