PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 18 May, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 18 May, 2011, 12:00am


Weibo can be a force for positive change

I write in response to the article 'Weibo's web' (SCMP, April 28).

China has been opening up to the rest of the world in recent years and is now the second largest economy globally. Despite its rapid economic growth and rising influence in the world, people still accuse China of violating human rights as shown by the Liu Xiaobo incident and Jasmine Revolution crackdown, just to name a few.

The writer mentioned how Weibo could be used as a tool for the central government to monitor public behaviour. But Weibo is an internationally renowned microblog site, and even Bill Gates has signed up for an account.

Using the site to suppress people's opinions would contradict the government's aims. Technology gives people more information through different channels. The central government should take advantage of such sites to educate its citizens, not limit them.

Karen Li Ka-wing, Tsuen Wan Government Secondary School

Stealing creative ideas hurts all

It is selfish and damaging to abuse intellectual property (IP) rights. These are exclusive rights recognised by law which protect people who create ideas from other people stealing them to make money.

An idea, such as a song or design that took talent and hard work to create, is private property just as much as a computer or smartphone.

Despite this, IP is still not well-protected. Today people can share and exchange whatever they find on the internet. Most people don't realise they are spreading protected resources without permission.

Many teens like to download anime, manga, music and movies for free. This not only hurts the creators - why should they work for free? - but also us as consumers. Who will produce these wonderful products if we keep stealing their work?

It is time to put a stop to IP theft. The government needs to impose heavier penalties and tighter regulations.

But, most importantly, we must protect IP ourselves. All we have to do is say 'no' to fake products or unpaid creations. We should also spread the message before all the creative people give up in disgust.

So Yiu-lun, The Chinese Foundation School

Why do we worship such fake idols?

Why do so many teen idols take drugs? Were they were just curious, or encouraged by others?

Everyone knows the huge influence these young idols can have on children, whether through their actions or the media's portrayal of them. Some artists have even represented anti-drug organisations while taking drugs secretly.

They are not fooling anyone but themselves. If they cannot show self-control, what sort of positive influences can they have on teens and young children who like to imitate their idols?

Chan Hau-nga, Maryknoll Fathers' School

Today's teens face different challenges

Hong Kong teens face many challenges and difficulties. Some people regard them as fragile and over-protected compared with older generations. I beg to differ. When our parents were young, yes, their lives were tougher; but they were also far less complicated than today.

While most local teens don't have to earn their own living like many of their parents, they still have to deal with lots of other stuff, such extra-curricular activities, tutorials and music lessons. Life at school today is far more stressful than in their parents' day: academic competition is fiercer than ever.

What concerns me most is what sort of impact all this has on teens. Society is evolving drastically. Things change so rapidly that teens sometimes find it hard to adapt.

There are so many competing ideas and attitudes to life. Teens are easily influenced by the world around them, which explains why they sometimes appear confused. Different values and perceptions compete for their attention. There are temptations and distractions everywhere we look.

Teens today might be confused by their complicated world. But that's not to say they are fragile. In fact, it takes a lot of mental toughness to absorb, understand and adapt to all the change going on around them. Many things are hard to make sense of. But I do believe that most Hong Kong teenagers are strong enough to adapt and find our way to a bright future.

Jan Wong, Hang Seng School of Commerce