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How Prevalent Is Cyber bullying in China

Popularity 12Viewed 5586 times 2015-4-1 10:02 |Personal category:Motivational|System category:News| reputation, activity, business, Chinese, against



With the advent of social media, this phenomenon has become prevalent in all aspects of online activity, and it has quietly crept into China with the proliferation of social media on the mainland. This week, Caixin Media, the leading Chinese business and financial weekly, is alleged to be threatening to pursue a defamation claim against a tycoon who it says fabricated and spread rumors to undermine its credibility and harm the reputation of its editor.


 "Caixin said on its micro blog at noon on Monday that Guo Wengui, the real estate businessman from Henan province, damaged its media credibility and insulted its editor-in-chief, Hu Shuli, by fabricating facts and spreading rumors online. Guo's letter claimed that the 62-year-old Hu is the mistress of the 49-year-old Li and that the two had a child. A name and identity card number was listed for the alleged child”, as reported in China Daily.


From what I envisage, a lot more damage will be done when this issue goes to court, far more than what is already in the public domain. The parties involved in the Caixin case should seek sound counsel before proceeding. Both parties in my opinion should turn to professional PR firms to avert this through crisis management instead of washing their dirty linens in public, something they have already started and each party wants an upper hand.


Another issue worth noting is the type of comments that are allowed on blogs on this forum. I read some comments from another blogger who was commenting on a blog from one of the prolific bloggers on this platform and I must say the said comment which referred to the latter as a pervert was disgusting, regrettable and should not have been allowed to go considering the fact that comments here are subject to checks before approval.


It is good to allow freedom of speech on forums such as this but comments that defame and hurt the reputation of others is highly unacceptable and should not be tolerated. Oh yes, people are entitled to their comments, but others are also entitled to their reputation. As the popular saying goes; your freedom of expression ends where the other person’s freedom begins.


In March this year Monica Lewinsky gave a talk at the Technology Entertainment and Design Talk commonly referred to as the TED Talks on a fledging phenomenon- cyber bullying or online public shaming which begun just around the same time her infamous story made global headlines. I guess I don’t have to bore you with her story. What’s more important is the issue she was trying to address which unfortunately is related to her story.


In a talk titled “The Price of Shame” She used anecdotes that made cyber bullying a real matter of concern for all countries across the globe considering the fact that the internet is now widespread and permeates every fabric of our culture and social life.


The 41-year old recounted her experience, admitting how she regrets her mistake deeply. According to her not a day went by without being reminded of her mistake and what that meant for her personally was that overnight she went from being a completely private figure to a publicly humiliated one worldwide.


“I was patient zero of losing a personal reputation on a global scale almost instantaneously”, she said, adding “In 1998, I lost my reputation and my dignity. I lost almost everything, and I almost lost my life”.

 

Excerpts from her talk


“When this happened to me 17 years ago, there was no name for it. Now we call it cyber bullying and online harassment. Today, I want to share some of my experience with you, talk about how that experience has helped shape my cultural observations, and how I hope my past experience can lead to a change that results in less suffering for others.


 “In 1998, after having been swept up into an improbable romance, I was then swept up into the eye of a political, legal and media maelstrom like we had never seen before. Remember, just a few years earlier, news was consumed from just three places: reading a newspaper or magazine, listening to the radio, or watching television. That was it. But that wasn't my fate. Instead, this scandal was brought to you by the digital revolution. That meant we could access all the information we wanted, when we wanted it, anytime, anywhere, and when the story broke in January 1998, it broke online. It was the first time the traditional news was usurped by the Internet for a major news story, a click that reverberated around the world”.


Analysis


In her 22 minutes talk interlaced with applause and a standing ovation Ms Lewinsky recounted how people especially students and young adult commit suicide as a result of cyber bulling. She advocated for a culture of compassion and empathy.


“When we began valuing sustainability, more people began to recycle. So as far as our culture of humiliation goes, what we need is a cultural revolution. Public shaming as a blood sport has to stop, and it's time for an intervention on the Internet and in our culture”.


Ms Lewinsky’s TED talk is a must watch by everyone engaged with this new social media, especially parents who don’t have the slightest idea of what their kids experience online. Parents should be more engaged with the social life of their kids, at least that would give them a fair idea of their wards online footprints without actually investigating their online activities. It’s a tough world out here online and in every nook and cranny are scavengers looking to make scapegoats out of victims.


 


(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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Comment Comment (20 comments)

Reply Report ColinSpeakman 2015-4-1 14:12
This is a very important post and thanks for putting it up., There is a lot that could be said, I hope that it will attract many comments and I am sure that others will chip in!  I will limit my initial thoughts to those about commentators who chose to post insulting remarks about people they hardly know with no basis for the remark.

In the example you refer to on this blog, the poster had a go at a few regulars, but later informed that she was suffering under a failing relationship with her recent Chinese husband, I was sorry she was going through that - sorry for both sides. Some while back we had another poster, an American, who was reluctantly studying in China because her Chinese mother had wanted to come here and brought her American Dad on a contract but just could not settle. She tells us she resolved it by getting agreement that she could return to USA. She sent a private message apologising for comments as she was out of her mind.

So what do we learn? Can a blog forum be used as a place to let off steam and beat up on someone else? Sometimes a safety valve is needed, and we might have some useful advice in return. Yet personalising the remarks against strangers who are actually trying to help is not acceptable.  However, for some who wake up in a bad mood, the rule is .. Let's see who else I can put in a bad mood too!   
Reply Report eddieturkson 2015-4-1 16:09
ColinSpeakman: This is a very important post and thanks for putting it up., There is a lot that could be said, I hope that it will attract many comments and I am sur ...
Thanks for appreciating my post........I am against posters using this platform to let off steam....clicking on the report button for example won't make my day better if my character is attacked. I do appreciate others freedom of expression but not when it negatively impact on the sort of decorum we have on this platform.
Reply Report ColinSpeakman 2015-4-1 16:23
eddieturkson: Thanks for appreciating my post........I am against posters using this platform to let off steam....clicking on the report button for example won't ma ...
I agree that the letting off steam is not the role of the blog - especially vitriolic stuff against individuals.
Reply Report Dr.Bill.Shen 2015-4-1 18:46
It is up to the individual in a bad mood to hold back his/her vitriotic outburst against others whom he/she bearly know. I gave her credit for deleting those comments after I refrained from responding, and it seems she realized later it was inapproriate.
Reply Report voice_cd 2015-4-3 09:00
Thanks for sharing your opinion here. We have highlighted your blog.
Reply Report eddieturkson 2015-4-3 09:33
voice_cd: Thanks for sharing your opinion here. We have highlighted your blog.
Thanks...I appreciate that
Reply Report ColinSpeakman 2015-4-3 09:55
eddieturkson: Thanks...I appreciate that
It is good to see this topic highlighted because it raises important issues about the civility rules for our blog as well as wider aspects.
Reply Report eddieturkson 2015-4-3 10:01
ColinSpeakman: It is good to see this topic highlighted because it raises important issues about the civility rules for our blog as well as wider aspects.
Thanks comrade
Reply Report seanboyce88 2015-4-3 10:05
ColinSpeakman: It is good to see this topic highlighted because it raises important issues about the civility rules for our blog as well as wider aspects.
it's a difficult topic, I am not sure how to reply. On the one hand, it can serve as a valve for letting off steam  but on the other, using a place as this as a valve can harm the community of people here.

Good blog though! very interesting
Reply Report ColinSpeakman 2015-4-3 10:06
eddieturkson: Thanks comrade
Bu ke qi !
Reply Report teamkrejados 2015-4-3 13:08
A great read and a prevalent topic, especially now in this forum where new bloggers and being solicited.
Strangely enough I had been playing around with the idea to write a post about trolls. Your text inspires me to do it.
Reply Report eddieturkson 2015-4-3 13:27
teamkrejados: A great read and a prevalent topic, especially now in this forum where new bloggers and being solicited.
Strangely enough I had been playing around w ...
thanks loads for appreciating my post
Reply Report ColinSpeakman 2015-4-4 00:16
BlondeAmber: The internet is great, a place where people all over the world can share and debate issues that mean something to them.

Sadly the internet has the il ...
Yes the internet is a force for good, but can be misused by some people.
Reply Report seanboyce88 2015-4-4 16:29
Love the new avatar!!!!
Reply Report BlondeAmber 2015-4-4 18:09
I notice my comment has been removed from this thread.
is this not a form of online bullying?
Reply Report eddieturkson 2015-4-4 18:36
BlondeAmber: I notice my comment has been removed from this thread.
is this not a form of online bullying?
I did not see the said comment but I'm certain it could be a technical hitch ...I suggest you kindly contact Voice to find out why you comment isn't appearing ..I'm sure they will explain why and rectify it
Reply Report BlondeAmber 2015-4-4 20:36
eddieturkson: I did not see the said comment but I'm certain it could be a technical hitch ...I suggest you kindly contact Voice to find out why you comment i ...
LOL seems like someone didn't like my comment  
Colin responded to my comment which mentioned the 'human flesh searches' that many Chinese seem to enjoy engaging in.
A form of online bullying that has destroyed innocent lives: similar to the public criticisms of the time in the past (from the mid sixties to the mid seventies) when intellectual achievement was seen as a bad thing and many educated people were demonised.

my point was that the internet is a great place to debate on issues and share ideas, but is also a haven from trolls and narcissists, giving them a new wider medium to spew their venom.

as another poster said, very often a discussion degenerates into name calling as a diversion, often when the poster can't think of a coherent logical reply to a point.

There is a moment between writing and posting, but all too often this is forgotten.
What is on the internet stays on the internet - for EVER
Reply Report PeacefulAsia 2015-4-6 23:48
Good article. thanks for sharing
Reply Report eddieturkson 2015-4-7 00:51
PeacefulAsia: Good article. thanks for sharing
thanks loads for appreciating it
Reply Report Newtown 2015-4-7 12:08
Monica Lewinsky advocates a "culture of compassion and empathy". So is it compassion or empathy which
encourages one to be the mistress of a married man with a family ?

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