[About this blog] Inspired by local soccer player Mike Lim during my rookie reporter days at Singapore Polytechnic, I set up this blog in August 2002. I feel that blogging is a novel platform to document interesting facets of my life and my thoughts on certain issues. [Email blogger] ephraim@singnet.com.sg

Sunday, May 15, 2005

[be responsible for what you blog]
this is the unedited version of the letter to the straits times last week:

Your story “Blogger faces threat of law suit” on May 7, has shed more light on blogging issues especially how easy it is to get involved with the law.

In recent years, blogging has become a phenomenon and has taken Singapore by storm and it is not surprising that even NTUC Income CEO Tan Kin Lian blogs.

I too, have a blog where I pen my thoughts on issues that Singaporeans face.

However, it seems that a majority of Singaporean bloggers are not aware of the laws that govern the Internet and even copyright issues while they blog.

Bloggers who are mostly young, tend to over express themselves using profane language – some do that to attract readership.

Others insult celebrities straight in the face not knowing that what they write could really make them go in the wrong direction – to the courtroom.

In Singapore, where newspapers follow the Social Responsibility Theory, journalists are reminded that they have to be responsible for what they write.

And bloggers are somewhat like journalists as they are gatekeepers of their own blogs – they choose what to present to the audience, what to write.

But how many of them know the implications when they hit sensitive topics?

Chua Cheng Zhan’s racist comments on his blog nearly cost him dearly.

So while blogging encourages one to speak up – which is a good thing and what the government advocates – there has to be a limit to that.

And bloggers should be educated on ethical blogging methods to save them the trouble should they breach the laws.

Perhaps the relevant authorities could address this concern to prevent other such cases?

It’s time Singaporeans take a responsible approach to blogging because you are responsible for what you write.


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