My gripes with online wrath

My gripes with online wrath

Having been an avid Internet user since its inception, I've come to realise there are three universal rules governing cyberspace.

First, there is no right way to spell anything.

Second, just because someone has uploaded 16 photos of her lunch/baby/self in the mirror does not mean people will not give a thumbs-up to her subsequent 23 photos of the same thing from a different angle.

Third, and most important, everyone can - and should - become vehemently upset about everything they read online, especially if it has nothing to do with them.

Cats eating cheeseburgers? Someone call the animal rescue hotline to save the poor pets from their abusive owners.

A young singer pushing the boundaries of sexy dancing? Someone call Madonna.

Parents burning their children's homework? Call the police - or put a photo of it on Facebook, with a similar effect.

Indeed, the online persecution that resulted this week after a group of students and their parents were photographed setting their worksheets ablaze after the PSLE exams was almost as bad as an angry bystander dialling 999.

Every aspect of the proceedings and their participants was vilified by observers who didn't let the fact that they knew almost nothing about the event stop them from denouncing it.

Disposing of textbooks that could be given away was wasteful, they said - only to be told later that no textbooks were hurt, merely assessment papers that were unlikely to be reused.

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