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Blogger Xiaxue: I will not change

When netizens flamed her for openly being a supporter of the People's Action Party (PAP), she hit back. -TNP
Mark Leong

Sun, May 27, 2012
The New Paper

Feisty blogger Xiaxue, 27, is not one to back down from a fight.

So when netizens flamed her for openly being a supporter of the People's Action Party (PAP), she hit back.

And hard. But what had the netizens done to rile her?

Someone had dug up an old picture of Xiaxue - whose real name is Wendy Cheng - and her friends with the PAP logo printed on their faces.

The pictures were posted on a Facebook page called Temasek Review(TR).

The first picture was put up on Monday.

And netizens responded by flaming her and her friends, calling her derogatory names, including prostitute.

Ms Cheng decided that vengeance was best served in cold cyberspace.

In the latest blog entry, she said she did not know who was running in the Hougang by-election and that she did not care who wins.

She also said that she had not said a word about the by-election before that.

She had tracked down the netizens' personal details, including where they work, pictures of the hecklers and their families, and posted them on her blog yesterday.

On her blog - which she claims is read by more than 40,000 people a day - she also made comments on some of the netizens' posts.

The TR Facebook page has 10,000 supporters.

Ms Cheng claimed that after she posted the latest entry, she received more than 140,000 unique visitors.

"I wasn't really angry as I'm used to netizens attacking me online. But I was disgusted and disappointed at their attitude," she told The New Paper.

Spurred by her action, some of her supporters have launched a counter-attack, flaming these men on Facebook and elsewhere.

At least one of the men has removed his blog, advertising his real-estate job.

Those who attacked her were mostly men in their 30s and 40s from all walks of life.

The criticism was kept to cyberspace and did not extend to phone calls or house visits from those who had flamed her, she said.

While most of the reaction to her blogpost has been positive, some netizens felt that she should have left the men's families out of the matter.

Facing the consequences

But Ms Cheng feels otherwise.

"I did think about leaving their family members out, but as their Facebook profiles and photos were public, I did not infringe on their privacy. They have to bear the consequences of their actions," she said.

But by posting details of their family members, including young children, is she dragging innocents into the fray?

"I know that their wives and kids are innocent, but I want the wives to be aware of their husbands' actions.

"It has more impact on them as they know that they are also affecting their families when they make these insensitive comments."

Ms Cheng said that she made an effort to leave teenage children out of her attack, as they may face bullying at school.

But toddlers were fine as they would be too young to understand, she said.

She added that none of the men had kids in primary school.

The local blogger, who married American Mike Sayre in 2010, said that her husband approved of her blogpost.

"He said that it's very shameful that guys would say things like that to women online, and I should go through with the post as the information was public anyway."

While her actions may have attained a certain degree of success, some netizens remain unfazed.

The TR Facebook page even linked her blogpost to their page,where netizens are still making the same insulting comments.

But Ms Cheng has no plans to step up her counter-attack.

"At least, now they know that most netizens find their actions wrong, so they might think twice," she said.

"I just hope Singaporean culture doesn't evolve such that these remarks become mainstream and acceptable."

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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