Monday, October 08, 2012

Netizens urged to be responsible

SINGAPORE: Singapore's newly formed Media Literacy Council said people who create and share information, whether they are professionals, social media users or bloggers, need to reflect on the ethics and implications of their words or actions.

The council's vice chairman, Carmee Lim, said this is an especially crucial component in media literacy because of the multiplier effects of online communications.

She was responding to queries from Channel NewsAsia in the wake of former NTUC assistant director Amy Cheong's inappropriate comments on Facebook.

She said the values and practices of the online world are not unique.

She explained: "In the real world where there is a great deal of personal contact, we rapidly learn that certain types of behaviour are frowned upon and there is a cost to such behaviour. The same should apply online.

"In this instance, the comments were unacceptable in our multi-racial society; but there are also many other instances where netizens should consider the impact of their words on individuals, or corporations, and the potential liabilities to themselves.

"Responsibility and empathy are values that people should universally apply, and especially online, because the impact of the words are easily amplified."

Ms Lim said netizens who encounter irresponsible and inappropriate online behaviour should continue to register their stand by flagging out such comments as unacceptable and that social media and forum operators should also take heed of the community's feedback.

- CNA/ck

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