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Hong Kong’s online trolls should know politics is no excuse for cyberbullying

PUBLISHED : Friday, 06 July, 2018, 2:33pm
UPDATED : Friday, 06 July, 2018, 2:33pm

You would be surprised if you browsed through the online forums in Hong Kong and saw how cold-blooded and inhumane social media users can be (“Online trolls warned against berating judge over Mong Kok riot trial”, July 4).

“Congratulations to the death of Christine Choi Yuk-lin’s son”; “Celebrate the death of [lawmaker] Junius Ho Kwan-yiu’s mother”; “Who else in [former education minister] Eddie Ng Hak-kim’s family has not died? We are looking for it”. I like to surf the net, but found these comments too spine-chilling.

There were thousands of likes and comments for a post “congratulating” Christine Choi after her son committed suicide last September. Some people really pulled out all stops with the abuse. This was just because Ms Choi has a pro-Beijing background. They blamed her for promoting the teaching of Mandarin in schools. They also condemned her for supporting national education. And in 2016, a netizen left messages offering “congratulations” on the deaths of Ng’s mother and wife.

Even though they may hold different political views, social media users should not make fun of the sorrow or misfortune of others. Such actions simply show their ignorance and lack of sympathy.

Young localists bereft of common decency

Hong Kong has extensive freedom of speech, but you cannot make personal attacks on others. Even in anonymous comments in an online forum, one has to show respect.

I truly hope the hosts of the online forums can delete such abusive and harmful posts. We should use our online resources more judiciously. Social media has great power, we can promote positive and constructive attitudes among the society. We can use the forum as a platform to debate government policies. We can also share some interesting things in our daily lives. However, what we should absolutely not do is use it as a platform for cyberbullying.

Patrick Mak, To Kwa Wan