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YOUR SAY: Let them learn lesson, but online lynching has to stop

ONLINE VIGILANTES

FROM READER MARIETTA KOH

I share the sentiments of columnist Maureen Koh in her article "Too furious, too fast?" (The New Paper on Sunday, Feb 9).

We seem to be too quick on the draw in vilifying those whose errant behaviour has been exposed on the Internet.

People like Anton Casey and Quek Zhen Hao deserve to be roundly castigated for boorishness in dissing Singaporeans in the case of the former, and for reckless driving and bullying tactics in the case of the latter.

But what they have been guilty of is essentially an appalling lack of judgment and the inability to curb their baser impulses.

I am sure some of us have, from time to time, experienced the same impulse to mouth off or behave like a thug in the heat of the moment, but were fortunate to have escaped being filmed in the act.

The outpouring of online vitriol appears grossly inordinate, considering the trespasses committed.

Online vigilantes seem to be having a field day hounding these transgressors and issuing death threats seems to be the intimidation stratagem of choice. Such tactics compelled Mr Casey to flee the country and he lost his job.

It is alarming that we have become such an unforgiving and intolerant society.

We seem incapable of making concessions for those who make mistakes. Perhaps we revel in impugning these people because we need to vent our frustrations and counteract the stressors in our lives.

But we must find it in ourselves to spare a thought for those whose lives we have destroyed and their loved ones who are innocent parties.

Let these transgressors learn their lesson in due course, but the online lynching simply has to stop.