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10/08/2005

brinkmanship in cyberspace

two bloggers have been jailed. another one is on the way. this is only the beginning. the court has made it very clear that the message should go out to everyone posting in cyberspace that they cannot get away from what they posted. the law will soon catch up with them. there is no where to hide. but some still think that they will not be detected. some still believe in their ingenuity to reroute their postings around the world or from a foreign base, and that they are safe. we have many infamous blogs and forums existing where vulgarities, obscenities, making slanderous attacks on individuals, making wild accusations and seditious statements on race and religion are the norm. and some are still screaming their heads off, a dare devil attitude of come what may, or simply being foolhardy. will they see themselves facing the music one day, charge in court? what are the motivations for bloggers and forumers to adopt such a stand, to post highly incendiary and provocative remarks? in sites like sammyboy, it seems that one has to behave and talk that way, a subculture, a gathering of likeminded souls. is it a sign of freedom, the opportunity to release pentup emotions, or a feeling of being free in a tightly controlled and no nonsense society? the blog or forum site thus becomes an escapism like driving at high speed in the malaysian highway? at last, a place to scream and shout! but it aso happens in the ypap forum. a forum of the ruling party, a no nonsense party run along the model of monk liked discipline and propriety? the ypap forum is the furthest place for people to seek refuge to air vulgairities and obscenities. on closer look it is obvious that some, or many, may have an axe to grind. some of the remarks and personal attacks are way way too wicked and degrading. but they are doing just that. and attacking luminaries of the ruling party. why are they so bold? or so reckless? a view presented to me is that the ypap site is the safest for such airings. i was amused. the ypap site is a show piece and they would not take actions against anyone posting there. it is officially approved. now is that true? i am not privy to the actual remarks made by the 3 bloggers charged in court. but i thought many of the postings in the ypap are very worthy to be considered seditious, inflammatory and inciting hatred. now, which is worst? those posted by the 3 bloggers or those in ypap forum. the charging of the 3 bloggers and the jailing of two of them definitely have tempered the brashness of the posts in ypap forum. there are signs that the thoughtlessness and abusiveness have been greatly tone down. some sensibilities have surfaced for the time being. but would the insanity return?

10 comments:

Elfred said...

In any case, YPforum posting becomes more proper for the past days without as much the usual trash.

Sometimes... one just can't be too nice.

Many people may not like 'it' but 'it' is the reason we are seeing better posts and better nicks. :D

It's good feeling better to read even without participating in the forum by posting.

Hopefully, things will progress from here when we have lesser trash and better activities.

redbean said...

in today's paper there were several comments suggesting more policing and the setting up of an avenue for forumers to take the abusive ones to court.

i am always against too much rules and policing. but with all the evidences in the ypap forum, the lack of policing can lead to more irresponsibilities and uncalled for ruthless personal attacks, insulting innocent people's dignity and modesty.

the forumers, and many, despite having wasted so much money in tertiary education, are still basically a ruffian at heart, nasty and base.

whether these are the results of upbringing, personal flaws or part of their born nature, attacking people viciously and hiding behind a nick is unacceptable and speaks very badly on the person concerned.

Elfred said...

Actually if one realizes, or what generally is called: expert enough, the existing laws (albeit old) can still kill an assh0le online.

In fact, it's something of a waste of time to redo or add an entire scope of laws and regulations when normal tort principle can (with a good judge) nail down foolhardy jokers who could be going around reckless and relentless.

If (eg) you persistently 'fame' me as a PAP dumbass lapdog or 'fame' my wife this and that by publishing online, what you'd get is a defamation suit from me in some proceedure.

Do we need exactly a brand new policy-ing whereby the social conduct's legal principles will inevitably coincide with the current (eg) publication laws and defamation laws?

The issue is, how to make the people see and transit the point from conventional medium to what many consider a new medium, the internet.

What do you think?

(Read the recent posting at my blog for some idea.)

redbean said...

the law of tort is not criminal but between two parties. the sedition act is about a crime that the state will take action against the party.

perhaps for personal grievances, something like the small claims court can be instituted to facilitate individuals to take on another party to court without having to incur costly legal expenses. what the aggrieved party wants is a judgement against the offending party and maybe a compensation. need not be in hundreds of thousands. let it be the small men's court. let the rich buggers fight it out to bankrupt each other. let the ordinary people find some justice for the sake of justice and not justice to be bought by money. the one who can afford it wins.

Elfred said...

I also wish the court fees and such will go down. :D

It's very easy to assume that a tort is a tort and a crime is a crime, but a criminal can involve in a tort against the nation.

So it all depends.

What is a traitor being charged for defamation by a statesman... :D

redbean said...

can there be a tort against a state? can someone curse the state and be charged under tort? unlikely. any acts against the state will a crime against the state, i think, or the charge will be framed in such a way that like the white elephant case.

Elfred said...

What do you think...? :D

Laws, my friend, is how you make your case and show the judge that he's a fool and goes against social duty for his judgement otherwise.

Put it simply, there is no such laws that cover every single undesireable act and accurate for every situation, which is why the best judges are the ones who understand this and incline towards wisdom than sticking to the book.

The court of justice... is always blind, and the balance is always struck by wisdom, not what you'd see, including the book.

redbean said...

elfred,

when there are opposing forces pulling in opposite directions, the job of the court is not easy. to abide by the rule or to use common sense and compromise? it is easier to stick to the book and be consistent.

maybe the court can be consistent in the application of the law but use more flexibility in applying punishment. never a right answer or a right formula.

Elfred said...

Redbean,

The court is consistent in doing the right things (decisions) in accordance to (say) a good society or doing a right thing to be consistent with the book, with total disregards to its responsibility to a nation. See?

What is consistency, hence? That'd matter.

You always heard 'consistency'. But the only way to be consistent to a turning rope is to turn with it, lest the laws itself becomes the very burden itself to the society, and justice.

redbean said...

hi elfred,

the written laws are dead laws until they are repealed or amended. no matter how well the laws are written, they have limitations and will not be able to cover all situations and be relevant throughout time.

maintaining consistency in law alone is the easiest but at times ridiculous. a good example is oral sex. it is forbidden under the existing laws. but in today's context, it is outdated and needs to be repealed. but until it is done, the court will have to rule according to the law.