The story began with a video clip of a woman slapping a girl in front of her. This incident was recorded by a third person and uploaded online. Sadly for the woman in the clip, the incident turned into something of a public trial by netizens and the media.
After it went viral, the case went to court, where the defending lawyer submitted a piece of new evidence that would change the decision of the judge of the case. It was a longer video of the incident.
It turned out that the woman was only helping to get rid of a mosquito on the girl’s face – she did not actually mean to hurt her.
My video, Rumour Net, was made to remind people that things on the internet are not always accurate. Some parts might be missing.
In this era of fake news, we need to be careful about relying only on our emotions and beliefs to form our opinions. We need objective facts.
That’s why we should not be quick to accuse someone if we don’t know the facts. We have to be responsible for our words and actions.
Public trials by netizens and the media are common in Hong Kong. From the Bus Uncle all the way back in 2006, to the ongoing debate over who has the right to sit on priority seats on transport, the public is used to using the internet as a platform to “conduct” public trials. As people can be anonymous online, it gives them more courage to speak and post hateful or hurtful comments, regardless of the consequences.
When people saw the “slapping” video, they posted hate comments even though they barely knew about the incident – the judgments were all based on a short video clip. “Seeing is believing” has become their only criteria for judgment. From now on, I hope everyone will think twice before they leave any comments online – be a responsible netizen!
Unicef HK’s “Make A Video” competition gives young people a chance to express themselves. The project is co-organised by the Hong Kong Arts Centre’s IFVA, with support from Hang Seng Bank and Young Post. Check out the videos here. Email your feedback here.