Letters to the Editor, May 2, 2017

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 02 May, 2017, 4:38pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 02 May, 2017, 4:38pm

Prompt action vital to delete violent videos

Following the posting of videos on Facebook showing the live killing of a baby in Thailand, I strongly ­believe leading social media websites have to do whatever they can to prevent a repeat of this horrifying incident.

More staff must be employed to monitor these sites and take down violent content as soon as possible. In this case two videos “were available for nearly 24 hours before they were taken down” (“Live baby killing puts pressure on police, Facebook”, April 27).

I appreciate that it can be problematic to take down inappropriate videos straight away, but I still find it difficult to believe that these two videos were not taken down the same day. Social media websites must change whatever procedures are necessary to ensure that violent ­material is removed swiftly.

I accept these are live sites and this can create a dilemma for these firms, but much better contingency plans must be put in place. Also, as soon as the companies see that an inappropriate video has been posted, they should contact the relevant authorities.

Time is of the essence, especially if swift action might, in some cases, save ­someone’s life.

I am sure these social media sites will be more effective in dealing with this problem, if additional staff are deployed to check content.

Rita Chan, Yau Yat Chuen

City’s unique heritage must be preserved

The intangible cultural heritage of Hong Kong, for example, egg tarts and mahjong, should be preserved. Have citizens thought about the effect on the city if these aspects of our ­heritage were to disappear?

I fully support the government’s decision to publish a list of intangible cultural heritage items and hopefully this can help to preserve them.

We have a unique local food culture which surely must be preserved. The city is renowned as a food paradise and the egg tarts are part of that culture. They were a particular favourite of our last governor when he lived here, Chris Patten.

Mahjong is important, not just because the game is so much an integral part of our society, but also from the point of view of handicrafts. Many mahjong sets are made here by hand and it takes a lot of skill. We associate the game with many of our famous traditional festivals and see it as an event to be shared with family and friends.

Such aspects of our intangible cultural heritage are part of the collective memory of Hongkongers and are therefore worth ­preserving. However, it is not good enough to just publish lists. The government should offer financial incentives to the businesses involved in keeping these unique traditions alive. The Tourism Board can organise more activities, such as visits to bakeries where egg tarts are made and firms making mahjong tiles.

Damon Wong Kwun-tsung, Tseung Kwan O

Airlines have responsibility to customers

I am sure many people all over the world followed the case of Kentucky doctor David Dao, who was forcibly removed from a United Airlines flight in Chicago (“United Airlines settles with passenger dragged off plane”, April 29).

This is not an isolated case. It is one of many examples of ­airlines being rude to passengers and not accepting their responsibilities when they are at fault, such as overbooking and asking a paying passenger to leave the flight.

The United event should be a wake-up call for all companies on the need to monitor employees and ensure that they behave correctly when dealing with passengers, especially if a flight has been overbooked.

If a passenger has paid for the seat, turned up on time and does not want to leave, they should be allowed to remain on board. Some airlines are national carriers; so when they end up with a bad reputation it reflects on that country and its government. If national laws bringing airlines into line are not effective, they must be made tougher so that passengers get the protection they deserve.

It is very unpleasant when you are in a situation similar to that experienced by Dr Dao. However, it is best to remain calm and ensure that the airline makes alternative arrangements if you are willing to vacate your seat.

You should also check your rights, because you may be ­entitled to compensation. It helps if you can cooperate with staff for a satisfactory outcome.

Kris Lam Ka-wai, Kowloon Tong

Pressure is taking a toll on young minds

Children in Hong Kong are ­facing increasing pressure in various forms and it is putting them under a great deal of stress.

The main source of the ­problem is connected with their studies at school, but they also sometimes get pressure from other quarters, such as parents and fellow students.

A private psychiatrist has said he is treating increasing numbers of children for mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression.

The state of mental health of many young people is a cause for concern. The government should recognise this and take appropriate measures.

Parents need to spend more time with their kids and look for signs of mood swings so they can get the necessary help swiftly.

Carol Kwok, Kwai Chung