The Social Court

28 Feb 2016

If there is one thing that the social media has taught us, it would be nonetheless any video, photos or article has the potential to go viral. Undeniably, social media has revolutionized the speed of the news cycle. Social media such as Facebook and Twitter has becoming the mainstream medium for breaking news. Today, one can know instantly what is happening throughout the world in real time. They are such powerful and great communication tools to connect people from all over the world. However, if one misuse the social media, there lies the risk of defamatory contents that could gain bad reputation or even destroy one’s future and life.

Not too long ago, a lady shared a photo of a young cake seller in Raja Uda, claiming that the girl tried to cheat her by purposely giving her the wrong cake. Disclosing the identity of the seller, the lady then asked the netizens to boycott the seller. However, her plan backfired when more netizens sided with the seller. Within days, the lady immediately became the hottest person in the country, even making headlines.

Of course, we are not here to discuss about the RM6 pandan cake. Such is the power of social media. It has the power to make you a hero, or sometimes famous (#RedPeople #Namewee). Yet, it also has the power to make you zero (#RM6PandanCake).

While some people leverage the social media platform to spread positivity and share meaningful and important messages, too often we see social media being misused by some people to defame certain people who wrong them. It has become easier and more rewarding than ever to share untruthful information of a person or business with the intention of defamation. While the publisher gets satisfaction of the video or article going viral and negative comments from the netizens piling up in the social media, an immense damage has already done to the victim’s life.

While words won't kill a person, it can secretly destroy a person from within. Simple comments may destroy the honor of a person to such an extent that one is not able to fix it.

On the other hand, I believe there are people who are rational and compassionate to not resort everything to the social media before understanding the rationale behind. Though it is easy to vent your frustrations online, but giving people another chance would be a more thoughtful approach. Everybody deserves a second chance.

Now, I got to admit, some of those viral videos or photos, they can actually be quite provoking. You may feel the anger sublimes from deep within your heart and you wish there’s just something you can do towards it. Some people, at this juncture, quickly put on their judging hat, raise the fingers of judgment, type in the sentence and hit the ’enter’ button. And as the post gains more attention, there will be more and more keyboard warriors and it’s just a matter of time before the news made headline.

Yet, we should not take the photos or videos as it is. You may find a photo of a guy scolding a woman in public, and we may quickly condemn the act of the guy. Yet, we don’t actually know the full story and perhaps the woman may have done something even more terrible to the guy beforehand. You may saw a video regarding road rage, yet you may not know who started the provocation at the first hand. 

More often than not, things posted on internet do not paint us the full picture. Some people do it with an intention, and that is to cause public humiliation against the person(s) in the photo or video. And we, the homosapien, who are blessed with the gift of thinking and rationalizing, seem to waste that gift when that happens. Without voicing our doubt and seeing the situation from another angle, we drop the judgement. And that, perhaps that, would have consequences that we will come to regret one day.

I am not saying that we should be bystander. Certainly, I am not calling everyone who posted something on Internet as fakers or cheaters. Rather, I implore you, that the next time when you see such post, don’t judge too quickly.

Coins have two sides, and every story could have been viewed from more than one angle.

The person(s) may or may not have done something wrong, but who are we to judge? At some points of time of our lives, we too have made mistakes, and I believe everyone deserves a second chance should then not be given the third chance, but even when it comes to that, let the judgment lies on the hands of the authority.


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