Ethical Issues of Blogging in Singapore
‘Weblogs or blogs are frequently updated webpages with a series of archived posts, typically in reverse-chronological order. Blog posts are primarily textual, but they may contain photos or other multimedia content. Most blogs provide hypertext links to other Internet sites, and many allow for audience comments.’ (Nardi, Schiano and Gumbrecht, 2004:1) There are generally two types of Blogs: personal blogs are those which resembles online journal or diary; non-personal blogs include forums which concentrates on diverse topics and issues, and commercial Blogs that are used to advertise products and services. For the purpose of this paper, only personal blogs and blog forums will be explored.
Blogging in Singapore has become a phenomenon and its pervasiveness across all ages in our society is evident with popular local Blogs like Mr Brown and Xiaxue having the two highest votes for the Best Asian Blog Award 2005 (The Weblog Award, 2005). However, the increasing popularity of Blogging poses ethical and moral issues such as remarks that are racist or discriminating and contents like nudity and vulgarities are widespread in Blogs.
As such, a blogging code of practice should be developed and clear policing mechanisms put in place to censor unethical controversies that arise from blogs in Singapore.
Situation in Singapore
The non-existent of blogging guidelines have led to the unfair treatment of bloggers.
An example will be the case of the 2 Chinese bloggers posting racist remarks while famous blogger Xiaxue also made discriminating remarks on a race and even suggested to ‘ban foreign workers from Orchard Road or City Hall’(Cheng, 2006) because several girls were molested at a New Years Eve Party held in the area. This is but one of the many postings containing such injurious remarks. Despite such comments, Xiaxue’s post was condoned. Although the two blogs commented about different races on different degrees, parallels can
References: Cheng, Wendy ( 2006) and (2007) Online Blog Online source: http://xiaxue.blogspot.com/2006/01/ladies-and-gentlemen-i-present-to-you.html Chong, C. K. (2005) “2 Men arrested under the Sedition Act for posting comments against Muslims and Malays on Internet blogs”, The Straits Times, 8 October. Goldhaber, M. (1997). The attention economy and the net. First Monday (http://firstmonday.dk/ issues/ issue2_4/goldhaber/) Hardwarezone Forum (2006) Online Source: http://forums.hardwarezone.com/showthread.php?t=1435572&page=9&pp=30&highlight=minister+daughter Hussian, Zakir (2006) “Minister Blogger”, The Straits Times, 3 September “Ethics in Blogging” Singapore Internet Research Centre Lwee, Melissa (2005) “Nude blog photos draw foreign attention”, The Straits Times, 15 June Online Source: http://www.asiamedia.ucla.edu/article.asp?parentid=25728 Media Development Authority(2005) Policies and Guidelines on Internet