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Saturday, 8 February 2014

Keyboard Warriors and their Cyber-Bullets

The recent case about Anton Casey and his callous remarks, having sparkled off many cruel and vicious comments from local Singaporeans - is just one of many examples of what our infamous keyboard warriors are capable of doing.

Even certain ministers have complained of being victims of irrational online remarks made against them in personal capacity.

What are the Differences between Keyboard Warriors and Usual Commentators?
Basically, they are a form of cyber-bullies as well. When they come across an article or piece of news in certain sites or online forums, they do not bother to grasp the real gist of the issues on hand before commenting. Their comments are instead aimed at targeting the writer or persons involved, and some of the comments may even contain hate phrases or venomous languages uncalled for.

For instance, say, an article on someone whose gambler husband ran away leaving the family with debts to settle and loansharks harassments. Sympathetic commentators would make references to the husband's irresponsible behaviour, or comment on the pathetic / unfair situations the family is now thrust in.

Or an article about, say, political issues? Rational commentators would comment on the topic without veering off track, and perhaps discuss the root of the problem and the possible reasons for why certain policies are being implemented / introduced.

Here is an example of these silly remarks - note that some of them tend to be racist, sexist and targetted at individual differences that are of absolutely no relevance to the topics at hand.

Keyboard Warriors would do the following instead:-
(i) Make comments against the victims or authors
(ii) Make irrational comments attacking the victims or authors' characters, personality, hobbies etc
(iii) Make ridiculous speculations aboout the victims or authors' physical aspects, personality, career etc
(iv) Make uncouth and uncivilized remarks such as "She must be a slut" or "he surely cheated before one lah, look at his LJ face"
(v) Demonstrate pack or "follower" behaviour, cyber-lynching on the victim or author simultaneously, for instance - if the first commentator made remarks that "the author must be hard up", the rest would blindly follow with similar comments
(vi) Using of cuss / swear words / curses to comment on the predicament of the victims or thoughts by the authors
(vii) Cyber-attacking or putting down of other commentators who make sensible remarks

The explicit use of mockery against the victims or authors is very common - some of them would even go to the extent of digging up past stories or photos of the victums and authors to use against them in the comments. Some of the more aggressive online vigilants even create comic strips or photo-shop pictures of the victims / authors to take their insults one step further.

Personal Experience with Keyboard Warriors
Personally, I have published a couple of feedback pieces on the news forums. Instead of sensible remarks targeting the issues on hands, I received many remarks speculating on why I wrote these feedback, who I am, how I look like, some insults and completely irrelevant remarks that had little or nothing to do with what I wrote about.

I even had a couple of them who added me on Facebook (because the articles contained my real name, no way to use pseudonyms) so they would know how I looked like and perhaps launch more up, close and personal attacks? I had to change my FB user name hence.

My articles sparked off more than 500 comments - only a few were sensible remarks by intellectual commentators. In the end, the Speak Good English Movement for that year did a campaign on one of the topics I'd written about, so I gained silent victory.

Boo to you pathetic Keyboard Warriors!

Impressions of these Keyboard Warriors and Their Mentalities
Firstly, by not reading and grasping properly the gist of a certain topic on hand before making comments, this already is a major minus point - the comments are often irrelevant and do not make sense. This shows a lack of patience of the commentator, or worse, lack of basic simple understanding of English knowledge - implying stupidity or illiteracy.

Secondly, besides the intellectual factor, Keyboard Warriors have exhibited themselves to be cowards who type behind a screen, and have very bad EQ (emotional quotient). By cyber-attacking the victims or authors on a personal capacity, this already implies immaturity and crass behaviour. The mockeries do not make themselves look good at all, if anything, they are like hooligans with little education, tossing out insensible remarks containing cuss or ludicrous speculations.

Thirdly, these people are pathetic and just want to be heard. All they want is someone agreeing with their initial remark, and then they would harp on it and become bolder, more aggressive when making another remark of similar capacity. Are they feeling insecure? Maybe.

Do learn to be objective and comment on the relevant issues on hands, please. Do not deviate into a puff piece of the victims or authors - intelligent people never, ever fall to the pit of having nothing better to write about other than hurling insults or threats online only. These lousy comments hurt, and also have zero constructive values to resolving issues or conflicts.

If you do need to make remarks, comment sensibly and intelligently. Do due research or reading up before blindly commenting or following what others wrote. Otherwise, you only belittle yourself with half-baked remarks that are unworthy and untrustworthy.

No part of this may be republished without the writer's permission. Copyright  ©  Thearcticstar. All rights reserved.

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