15 April 2007

Inappropriate Behaviour On The Web? (2)

"These days, I can't blog freely anymore. The blogosphere is getting scary. People attack each other with words (both explicitly & implicitly), the world is getting uglier." - quoted from Etel's blog, without her permission, of course.

What prompted her to say that could be the spate of news lately about bloggers' behaviour on the Web, especially on blogs and forums. (This post is a sequel to an earlier one.)


In an attempt to control online dissent, China had ordered its bloggers to register with the government almost 2 years ago. It was recently reported that China had an estimated 20.8 million bloggers at the end of 2006, of whom 3.15 million were active writers. With such colossal numbers, it is understandable if the state controls have met with little success so far. It is probably because of this reason that Malaysia has recently decided not to take a similar measure:


Recently too, a story about an attractive 18-year old Singaporean blogger made the news. She was 'flamed' for posting revealing personal photos of herself as well as blogging about what was viewed by the 'flamers' as her somewhat overly luxurious lifestyle. The 'flamings' spreaded to other Internet forums and there were several threads on her, each with hundreds of postings. Some comments were polite but there were also others which were nasty and insulting. The situation got so bad that Michelle made a police report on 28 Mar 2007 and posted the report on her blog. Needless to say, she was 'flamed' even more and accused of over-reacting to the incident.

One forum user, Helen Leong (28) even said, "If she can't take the flamings on the forum, then why did she post her pictures online? It's common sense: If you post anything online, you have to be prepared for flamings."

Of course, there were also others who were supportive of Michelle's action. Daniel Sun wrote a letter to the New Paper dated 10 Apr 2007 in which he applauded Michelle's action.

Besides yours truly, many bloggers have also blogged about this incident. (See another example here.)

For those of you who are interested, Michelle's blog is here but do note that she may have removed some of the postings which caused the furore. Her blog is titled "There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved". Indeed, it is quite obvious from the photos on her blog that she is deeply in love and with whom. Not only that, it seems that young and pretty girls like her are not afraid to let everyone know their age. Of course, if she's a middle-aged woman who's wrinkled and past her prime, then things could well be very different. In fact, she also stated her birth date very clearly on her blog as 10 Apr 1989. (Happy belated 18th birthday, Michelle.) She also revealed her real name (I believe) because it was also published in the New Paper.

Hey, I just checked technorati's ranking. Her blog is ranked 190,600th while mine is 161,660th. So this 51-year-old is still ahead of her by almost 30,000 counts. Hmm... I wonder how is that possible? No wonder they say that statistics can lie - her statistics (in all senses of the word) should be much better than mine - no mistake about that, hehe.

As usual, I leave you to ponder over whose action you think was more right - Michelle's or the forumers who were critical of her. On this note, I end this post with a quote from Mr Tim O'Reilly (who is credited with coining the term Web 2.0) which appeared in a recent article (first photo above):

"That is one of the mistakes a lot of people make - believing that uncensored speech is the most free, when in fact, managed civil dialogue is actually the freer speech. Free speech is enhanced by civility."

Fill this dreary old world with more love and less hatred and it will be a better place for all of us to live in.

41 comments:

Chris said...

It takes all kind of people to make the world. My take is that if you flaunt it, then you must be able to take the heat of flaming. What? Only want to hear the nice things arh? Then you're not living in the real world; not even in the sub-real world known as the blogosphere.

The last I heard, Michelle Quek has joined the Star Bloggers team for the Sunday Times. Get ready for more flaming. heheh.

Victor said...

Chris - Thanks for your constructive comments. In fact on the reverse side of the NP article on Michelle Quek, there was this article by Ng Tze Yong titled Blah blah blog sheep? I quote a portion of the article which I feel is very relevant for this post:

"The very worst of Singaporean bloggers can be summed up aptly with the 3Ns.

Narcissistic, nasty and nonchalant.

Narcissistic because somewhere along the line that began with the simple intention of sharing their lives with friends, these bloggers start using their blog as a makeshift pedestal.

Nasty because what started as curiosity of other peoples' lives degenerated into bitching.

And lastly, nonchalant because even while the world around them spins on and on, as nations rise and fall, and as wars, famines and tsunamis ravage the lives of others, they can somehow continue to talk incessantly about how much they hate their breakfast cereal."


How true! Especially the bitching part. (Gee, I always thought that 'narcissistic' is related to a flower.)

etel said...

The world is indeed getting uglier... now even my GD "steal" things from my site and republish it!

heh heh heh...

Oh, I totally believe technorati. Why? Because I am ranked 338,052 and I totally believe that number! :D

Chris said...

Victor:

I've read that article. Why do you suppose I called you a narcissist in the comments on Bob? Heheh.

I disagree with what the TNP reporter wrote. Of course, there's no denial the suffering in the world. But do we then switch off all entertainment and go into mourning? Let's not be too pessimistic about life. Life is not all gloom and glum. LIFE IS HOPE. There're causes for celebration too. So, pple juz choose to write about happy things sometimes. But it doesn't mean they dun care about the fact that pple are dying Iraq, and pple getting hungry in N Korea. So what if what we blog appears trivial and frivolous to others? We're our blog masters. Our blog is our canvas. We blog what we want. Of course, one has to blog responsibly to avoid trouble. You juz have to play by ears (or eyes, in this instance) sometimes. There are areas which are off-limit even in this place call blogosphere, and even amongst “chummy” virtual friends. That much I can say.

Victor said...

GNE, I gave you the opening quote in the article leh - even more prominence than the closing quote from Tim O'Reilly. This shows that contrary to what Chris alleged, I am not narcissistic, hehe.

Victor said...

Chris said: "There are areas which are off-limit even in this place call blogosphere, and even amongst “chummy” virtual friends."

So you better tell me where your OB markers are, Chum. If not, don't blame me if I cross them, okay? (And I had always thought that you can take all these horsing around.)

Chris said...

Haha.. victor. But I'm not a virtual friend, am I? I'm real, and happen to be your lunch kaki almost 5 times a week. Heheh.

Not everyone can take your nonsense, you know. But Chris Sim can. No worries buddy. LOL.

Hey, btw, I on course from mon to thur hor. I'm having lunch where lots of SYTs are... heheh..

tigerfish said...

The world needs diversity. The blogosphere needs diversity too, I guess. And I don't even know this Michelle-blogger thingy :O

etel said...

tigerfish: u dunno? oops i think my GD just maanged to bring more publicity to people! hehe

GD: sidetrack abit. u know sparklette.net's owner?

chris: u sound humsup ley.. =.="

Victor said...

Chris said:"I disagree with what the TNP reporter wrote."

Ya, except with the label "narcissistic" right?

Victor said...

Tigerfish said: "And I don't even know this Michelle-blogger thingy".

That's why the blogosphere needs diversity which hopefully I am providing here. Haha.

Victor said...

GNE - sparklette.net's owner is Veron. She joined yesterday.sg (of which I am a member too) since middle of last year. So far I have not met her (also an SYT) at any of our yesterday.sg's meetings.

Hmm... why did you ask? Do you happen to know her as well?

Fyi, Chris not only sounds humsup. He also looks and acts that way too. Haven't you been advised recently to mix only with good company?

etel said...

No.. I happen to know that she's very famous among bloggers.. her layout nice ley.. purple color :p

Serious? No wonder you keep telling me to mix with good company, waahahahahahahaa my GD also looks n acts like that too? =P Coz both are great friends... oops!

Shilpa. said...

Oh yes, I did read that article in TNP (I resorted to reading it ever since my subscription to ST expired. No point renewing 'cos I find ST so restricted, ie, always sucking up to the gahmen), and I couldn't help agreeing that the worst of S'porean bloggers are so narcissistic! As for the nonchalant part, I suppose it all depends on the theme of the blog, right? Cannot anyhow accuse ppl of being boh chap, what...

But as for the 18-yr-old who can't take the flaming. Aiyoh, my thinking is, if you can't accept criticism, and yet want to have a blog, might as well not tell anyone that the blog exists, right or not? You tell one person you got blog, they sure tell another and another, in the end, you have no control over who reads it!

But this is so sweet, reading the comments between you and Chris, I see you all are the kind of friends who will grow old together! geee... :)

Victor said...

Shilpa, you don't have to tell people that you have a blog but yet they still can find you. How? Via a blog search lor. Try searching for your own blog using a unique search string and you will see that it works.

The only way to avoid people visiting your blog is to make it private. But then, what is the point, right? Might as well keep an old-fashioned diary which you can keep safe under lock-and-key in your home drawer.

Shilpa. said...

Victor, true, but if people don't even know you have a blog, and you don't use your real name, how will they know what to look for? But yah, lor, what's the point of privatising a blog? Might as well just write private e-mails to the selected audience!

Chris said...

Shilp:
People write blog for various reasons. Comments or no comments, personally, I find it therapeutic. It's a form of self-expression for me. But I hate it when pple tell me my blog is gathering spider web. C'mon, they think I sit in front of my computer all day arh? Nothing better to do like blogging about Bob? They should go get a life. Heheh.

Chris said...

Etel:
Sparklette is the princess. She's got a very charming and dreamy blog. Hehe.. And btw, wadya mean I sound humsup arh? Do i LOOK humsup to you? What till you meet your GD one day, then you tell me wx I look humsup or not. Hehehe..

fr said...

I think if you don't want criticism, then don't allow comments.

Make blog private better than old-fashioned diary. OFD not so safe if you don't want people, eg your wife, to read.

Victor said...

Shilpa - Try Google Blog Search using the search words "sindhi macaron" (without the quotes) and see what you get. I just did and only your blog was returned. Scary, right?

Victor said...

Chris said: "I hate it when pple tell me my blog is gathering spider web."

Own medicine always tastes more bitter, doesn't it?

Victor said...

Chris said: "She's got a very charming and dreamy blog."

Obviously, Chris is charmed by her beauty and is dreaming of her. If that is not being humsup, I don't know what is.

Victor said...

Fr - There's yet another way - moderating comments. The difference between moderating comments and disallowing them is that the moderator still wants to read criticisms but may choose not to publish them.

Firehorse said...

Out of curiosity, what is this ranking thing that I keep coming across people talking about, does it show you how many people come to your blog and thus how popular it is? So the higher the rank = the more popular your blog is?

Victor said...

Firehorse - Yes, you can check your blog's ranking from Technorati. To check on your blog, you go to the site, key in your blog address in the search box provided (i.e. "Search xxx in blog posts"), e.g. of a search on your blog is given here. (Woah, your rating is much better than mine! < 100,000. *Envy*)

Amongst other features on the website, you can also see who linked you (whether with or without your permissions) in their blogs, haha.

Yes, the stats are supposed to be accurate. (Since it is obviously operated by a computer program and not a human being, it shouldn't be "cooking up" the figures.)

Another website which is similar to Technorati is Alexa. ( Er... just don't ask me why the 2 websites give different results. :P )

Firehorse said...

Thanks for the link, very interesting thing this Technorati, hmmm correct me if I am wrong, if My Profile is 18 year old sweet young thing name HoneyBee my ranking would be higher?

Victor said...

FH - You're welcome but sad to say, you're also wrong. Nice try though. (Is that question serious?)Technorati doesn't look at your profile because there's no way to verify what you claim in it.

Victor said...

FH - I just realised that I might have appeared to have contradicted myself in my last comment :P.

In a way, you could be right too. You see, if you happened to be an 18-year-old SYT and posted photos on your blog (especially sexily and scantily-clad ones), you would soon attract humsup lo's (lechers) to your blog like bees to honey. That will drive up traffic/links to your blog and hence your Technorati blog ranking would shoot up as well. So you are right about that. LOL.

Meow said...

Vic: whose action you think was more right?

IMHO neither is "more right" than the other, both are entitled to their respective actions but must remember the possible consequence of it.

Michelle to flaunt whatever she wants to. She chose to forget the most likely nature of her "target audience" - intended or otherwise, that would be attracted to her, ahem, ... STYLE. (I myself, having peeked into her blog would prefer reading about breakfast cereal)

The "forumers" were as entitled as her to their view, however nasty. I agree completely with Helen Leong's statement.

What i did find surprising (if in fact it's true) is that her FATHER supports what she's doing????? Posting such provocative photos of herself on the net? revealing personal details?

If there's an issue of right or wrong involved in the whole silly episode, THIS is what i think is wrong.

Men may think it normal and even love to drool and w*** over titillating photos of SYTs but how many of them would approve and support their daughter being the SUBJECT of the drooooling and whatever?

Remember that she was still a minor at the time of posting.

No mention of what her mother thought though.

OT: The self-proclaimed princess can't seem to afford much for clothing material; either that or she's paying too much per meter of material.

Vic, loved your remark "Indeed, it is quite obvious from the photos on her blog that she is deeply in love and with whom." LOL

Victor said...

Meow - Thanks for your very profound comments. It certainly shows that you did your homework, hehe.

Hey, I am just curious - do you have a blog? If so, I would like to visit and read your posts as I think that they will be very interesting reads and I can learn a lot from you. If you don't have a blog, do seriously consider starting one as you definitely have a flair for writing (sensible and not mundane stuff, I mean).

Most parents will support their children's actions, at times somewhat blindly. I don't know if you remember this local controversy that happened a few years ago - a daughter of a VIP passed a derogatory comment about elitism in her blog at someone. Although the VIP said sorry on behalf of his daughter, he said that he felt that his daughter was not completely at fault.

In the first place, why should he be apologising on behalf of his daughter? Seems to me that he was over-protecting her. He should have let her sort out her own problems that she created herself.

Having said that, I agree with you that there is sometimes no clear cut right and wrong parties in such issues. Both sides have done some wrong but yet are right in some other ways. That is why such issues are so difficult to resolve, don't you think so?

FireHorse said...

Victor, got another question, you keep saying you are 51 years old, from your picture, the one in yellow shirt, I thought you were like in your 30s.

Victor said...

Firehorse - Another question in reply to your question - how could you tell from that low-res photo? Although it was a recent photo, it hid alot of wrinkles, warts, moles, white hair and all. Hahaha.

meow said...

No, i do not have a blog nor have i ever had an OFD.

I prefer to merely read about a wide variety of subjects, much of which is totally unrelated to my RL than to put down any "profound" (????? - you must be joking)thoughts.

Curious - what happens if i click the blue wheelchair icon for word verification?

Victor said...

Meow - What's an OFD? An office diary? And what's an RL? You really got me stumped with all those 'sms-speak'.

The wheelchair icon for word verification is meant for the visually impaired, I think. When you click on it, I think it is supposed to say aloud the letters for you to key into the box. I say 'I think' because when I clicked on it, a dialogue box appeared asking me "Run Active Control, OK?" And when I clicked OK, my browser hangs. (That happened twice.)

However, you may get a different response. The only way to know is to try it out.

meow said...

Sorry,

OT = off topic
OFD = old fashion diary
RL = real life, normally "IRL" in real life

I do have a office diary though :-)

Too dumb to set up a blog, as you may remember, I didn't even know how to use HTML tags.

Love reading other people's thoughts, opinions, articles etc

noelbynature said...

off-tangent topic victor: you've been tagged for a mindless task. see my blog for details. =D

Victor said...

Meow,

OIC LOL

Legend:

OIC - Oh I see
LOL - Laughing out loud

Victor said...

Noel - I have left you a comment at your post.

Thanks for the tag. It looks fun to do. Will look at it (didn't say will do hor) when I have the time, haha.

Chris - Watch out.

Cool Insider said...

I think technorati rankings should be taken with a pinch of salt sometimes. Mine is something like 24,000 but I seriously doubt that I have a huge fanbase except for dear friends like you guys. ;)

What's more important is the number of regular readers that either subscribe or even better visit your blog on a regular basis. It is the interactions and engagements with fellow human beings that makes blogging the killer application that it is.

BTW, you do know that Michelle Quek is one of the bloggers on STOMP's Star Blog right? While I think STOMP is trying all they can to attract visitors (and they do have a lot), I wonder sometimes if too much exposure can change the nature of celebrity bloggers.

Victor said...

Walter - There may be a lot more silent secret admirers of your blog who seek the good advice that you dose out on marketing strategies and the like. Some may just want to read and not post comments. I still think that Technorati rankings are accurate, relatively speaking, when comparing bloggers with bloggers.

Mr Miyagi said...

Man, I'm so out of it.