What internet standard are we talking about?

Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, said on 8 Oct in Geneva at a conference that developing codes of practice for the internet is good. He added that industry self-regulation is needed to ensure a high level of credibility and quality in the net.

I think the Minister needs to be more specific when he talks about the internet. Some forum in the net are very similar to a news media and may replace the role of the print media in times to come. But many sectors of the net are actually gossips, personal diaries, or simply kopitiam talks among bloggers. What kind of standard is the Minister talking of, or is there a need for a standard when many are personal and private conversations? Obviously the Yaacob is not expecting facebook or blogs to have the equivalent of the standard of professional media. They don’t have to and need not be. People in kopitiams say whatever they want according to their personal standards.

Can the Minister specify which group or groups in the net that he is referring to that needs to raise their standard and credibility? As far as bloggers are concerned, as long as they don’t get into areas of scandals or inciting troubles among the people, they can say as much nonsense or fiction as they want in the most atrocious or crazy English or Singlish or rojak language as they like. And these will be of no concern to the Minister or his ministry.

You only need standard and credibility when it is a business concern or some institution of recognition. Then again, the internet is in a virtual world, transcending international boundaries. It is a grey area that is beyond any govt. Who is the rightful authority to impose standards and code of conduct on netizens?

What do you think, Minister?


gecko said...

Yaacob can keep talking in his echo chamber. No one takes him seriously, especially the intelligentsia who are laughing at his repeated attempts to push the internet code of CONduct agenda forward. He doesn't realise how embarrassing his statements sound at the conference. He can't even regulate the fourth estate properly and get his own house in order, yet he wants to use industry self-regulation as red herrings for his hidden agenda?

Have the guts to say what you mean, at least. People will at least respect the straight talk.

Anonymous said...

Singpore ministers have to talk loud and big to inflate their ego. Talk is cheap and very often they hardly know what they are talking except exposing their empty brain in clownish and shitty drama. Just like his boss who said that the government owes NS-men a lot and was put on the spot by redbean and netizens.

Eagles Eye

Anonymous said...

The way Yaacob keeps harping on about Internet regulation, you would think he's got it written into his KPIs or something. No CoC, no bonus for you lah!

Well, somebody do us all a favour and change his KPIs since it's bleedingly obvious that nobody wants that outcome except him. I mean, if the commanders of Auschwitz and Dachau had their KPIs changed to "nurture and protect the PRCs by giving them an equivalent quality of life to local citizens", the nation would have been a happpier place overall, would it not?

OK, back then it was Jews instead of PRCs, but the point remains that someone else got the exact same KPI!

Do us all a favour, PAP and get rid of that misguided objective of Yaacob's due to force majeure from the Online Resistance fighters.

Anonymous said...

Bangkok Post editorial
[Internet is not broken]

"A conference sponsored by the United Nations in Dubai this week bears careful watching.

...some influential governments and self-interested groups want to use the meeting to undermine the freedom of the internet.

...will try to ram through changes that will reduce the freedom of the internet to the censorship of the lowest common denominator of the most repressive United Nations members."