Freedom of speech

October 26, 2005 8:17 AM

Freedom of speech does not exclude you from having to think about what you say and write. In other words, you still need maturity and good sense.

Neither does it exclude you from being fired or prosecuted if you get caught leaking sensitive or harmful information. Be careful of what you say and write, and to whom.

But freedom of speech does mean that you are free to deal with the consequences. Why? Because words are powerful. They can do much good but they can also do much harm. They can cut deep. They can cause a war even.

And because your freedom of speech is also other ppl’s freedom of speech. Throw out ill-conceived thoughts and you can expect to be called out on your bullsh*t. Hurt someone with your vitriol and you can expect the same vitriol hurled back at you. Worse if it comes back amplified. Even worse if it comes back in the form of physical violence.

Words carry consequences. You want freedom of speech then you have to be ready to deal with the consequences too. Take responsibility for your words. Blog Responsibly.

Everyone had been bickering about what should have been done instead of Peter and Kimberly’s email campaign but no one has come back to me yet with a single justification for Xiaxue’s words. Why is that? Because they cannot be justified.

I adhor racism because I went through it. FYI Mr. Kenny Sia I did do something when Pauline Hanson made her speech but I have no proof and frankly I don’t really care if you believe me or not.

I came to Australia as a child and I saw and experienced racism as a child. Yeah I learnt to deal with it but I also learn that we have to fight it wherever we see it. I’m not a radical, I never pelt eggs at racists but I tore down those ANM posters that were plastered everywhere. I wrote letters just like I did with the emails recently.

To sit silently by is to tacitly condone Miss. Cheng’s behaviour. We have made it known either through emails or on her comments section that her words are a bit unsettling. We tried the soft approach. I personally cannot take credit for this recent campaign but I joined in it because I truly believed in it.

Just because something is online as opposed to being in the newspapers or TV, doesn’t mean it’s less hurtful. If you say it, you own it. Simple as that.

15 thoughts on “Freedom of speech

  1. the virgin undergrad

    this isn’t you, marcus. u certainly have the rationality to discern between unfettered hate for someone and disapproval for his/her opinions.

    i dun agree with her views either, and i do find her cyber persona rather obnoxious. but at the same time, what i find even more disagreeable is to taking a blogospheric-based controversy out of the realms of cyberspace.

    sure FOS/FOE shouldn’t be absolute even on cyberspace. but objectively speaking, the essence of what she’s saying clearly isn’t that of a racist message. if anything, she’s probably guilty of being insensitive and dumb rather than being a racist.

    a boycott’s a company’s products is usually the result of disapproval for the company stands for (perhaps nike boycott in the case of 3rd world exploitative labour). boycotting a company’s products just cos’ one cannot agree with the views of ther person endorsing the product simply lacks logical causality other than the desire to inflict tangible damages on the individual. as u have admitted earlier on, the aims of the campaign was less of a bona fide disapproval of Xiaxue’s sponsors than an attempt to ‘send the message to her’ ie. teaching her a lesson she’ll never forget.

    ok, perhaps u genuinely believe that hitting her where it hurts is the only way to reform her supposed racist views/insenstivity. but by associating yourself with a ridiculous hate-site like xialanxue isn’t going to help your cause, and if anything it’s going to undermine whatever constructive message u have. this is especially true when u consider how xialanxue shamelessly whored his site by spamming xiaxue’s comments when he first started his blog and is just about happy to flame just about any ‘bloglebrity’ just to suck readership.

    therefore it is probably no surprise why u’re being spammed with hordes of anonymous retards directed from XLX’s website since XLX’s supporters are probably equally, if not much less rational than XX’s fanbase.

  2. mooiness

    the v.u.: I said this over and over again, if she had shown contrition and admitted her own insensitivity then it would not have escalated. After seeing what she called Peter and Kimberly can you still honestly defend her? That’s she’s a victim?

    Calling a Malay person a “Malay fucker” is not racist? If a white person called you a “Chinese fucker” you would know how bad that it feels.

    I have no qualms with linking to Xialanxue because his latest post is factual. And ppl keep forgetting – we did not “smear” Xiaxue. Her words are her own undoing. We only brought to attention those posts to her sponsors. We were voicing our opinion.

    If I had incited violence towards then I would have crossed the line. She can have her freedom of speech, so can I. Whether she had spread her words of hate online or off, I would have still called on it. Blogs are a part of the “media” now. If she had wrote what she did in the newspapers, she would have been liabled for it. If writing hate online is ok, why did those two bloggers got arrested for sedition? Xiaxue is lucky that it’s only her sponsorships that got affected.

    The reason why we got worked up is because like it or not, she legitimises the hurtful attitudes towards Malay ppl and the disabled.

    And you keep repeating that whole thing about “Gandhi” – it’s not like we didn’t give her the benefit of the doubt, we did. Once is an accident. Twice is unforgivable.

  3. ~*Starryluvly*~

    erm, in case people forgot, xx is the same person who got worked up over some girl stealing her cab. The same girl who them proceeded to publish the girl’s blog address and taught people how to get around the javascript password, knowing fully well that her fans will most certain flame her.

    I think that emailing her sponsors is mild compared to that. It is ultimately up to the sponsors to decide whether the complaints are valid, and whether there were sufficient numbers to justify the consensus.

    Think about it – four hundred people could have written in to say, for example, that xiaxue has ugly teeth. But that does not mean a company will drop her (unless of course they were dentist lah). Similarly, a company wouldn’t drop her based on one person’s allegation – they are not dumb, I’m sure they’re aware that xx, being as prolific as she is, will get hate mail.

    However, they must have decided that the bad outweighed to good somehow. Thus, the cessation of the sponsorship.

  4. mooiness

    wingz: superman mah.

    starry: exactly. If what we said did not hold any truth, the sponsors would have just ignored us.

    to anymore flamers: we didn’t slander her. My emails were worded factually and respectfully. And just because she said those things online, you expect us to ignore it? What do you suggest we do then? Nothing? Too bad – as someone vehemently against racism, I cannot do that.


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