Local undergrad blogger cyberbullied and called a 'bimbo'

Local undergrad blogger cyberbullied and called a 'bimbo'

SINGAPORE - Singapore ranks among the top again. But it's not a good thing this time round. You see, Singapore and China top the cyberbullying league in Asia, a recent Microsoft survey has found.

In 2010, it was reported that Singapore ranks just behind the US for cyberbullying incidents per capita. Working on this feature made me think: When did it become okay to pour vitriol on people?

These days, most of us will have some facet of our lives put online for all to see. Our names, likes, photos of what we do or eat, even what we are musing over now occupy bits of cyberspace.

You don't have to camp out on social platforms to get a glimpse of the rampant hate on the Internet. It's so common to find an anonymous keyboard warrior labelling someone, usually a female, fat or ugly, or a netizen calling someone stupid and deluded for supporting a particular political party here, or by virtue of being of a particular race.

Blogger Xiaxue reckons that when it comes to dealing with online nastiness, people should just grow a thicker hide.

I agree to some extent. After all, the act of putting thoughts online is an invitation to read, like or comment.

We interview 3 bloggers who tell us how they fight back and put the cyberbullies in a tight spot:

Undergrad's blog post on immigration draws comments attacking her looks and intellect, even as a social activist reportedly calls her 'bimbo'

A recent case of cyberbullying has caught the attention of the online community, prompting debate on the definition of free speech as well as its boundaries - or lack thereof.

It began with a blog post penned by 22-year-old undergraduate Jeraldine Phneah, written after studying ahead for a Nanyang Technological University (NTU) course which she is enrolled for.

In her post, she made references to concepts including species survival and resource partitioning and attempted to extrapolate them, proffering suggestions on how the immigration issue here could be managed.

Her post was later taken by fellow NTU student Lim Jialiang and shared on his Facebook profile.

Netizens began mocking Miss Phneah's opinions on Mr Lim's profile, with some comments soon spiralling into racist remarks and personal attacks involving her looks and intellect.

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