After my previous entry supporting government regulation on Internet discourse, someone asked me to provide evidence for my claim that self-regulation isn't working.
Well, evidence just happened.
Somebody impersonated as MP Irene Ng and published an article in her name on TRS (The Real Singapore), a website on political commentary. Did the website intentionally abet this fraudulent act? Would it just claim to be a victim of deception? At the very least, the editors of this website have failed to exercise due diligence in verifying the sources of their content. It has let its readers down by offering such sloppy control over the quality of what it publishes.
I am sick of all these politically-motivated websites, with their half truths, cunning insinuations and hidden insults. And disgusted by the comments fanning their extreme views - comments which are uncouth at best, and often vulgar and obscene. Tell me, how does this enhance the democratic processes in Singapore?
If people demand freedom of expression, then we should abolish anonymity. Let's see how many people will still indulge in hate speech then. After all, in Hyde Park, when people speak their minds without incrimination, they put their person and identity on the podium for all to see. If one is willing to be responsible for what he says, then he has the right to expect freedom of expression. If not, we are letting the basest in our society dictate the rules of social interaction. Why should we make it so easy for people to spew vitriol since this does nothing for the quality of life for the rest of us?