When does online policing become cyber bullying? The recent case of a train shaming incident of a sick man in Singapore shows the ugly side.
In cosmopolitan Singapore which self-censors and self-polices itself more effectively than the government does, we are too happy to point fingers — or in the era of Stomp and social media, our cameras.
A female commuter onboard the local train system recently took to her Facebook to publicly shame a rotund middle-aged gentleman for not giving up his Priority Seat to a lady with a child.
Using the hashtag “Being fat is not an excuse” captioned to a picture of the man in question, she denounced his villainous act in a viral post to the rest of the online community.
A markedly moderate response was later put up by the man, Cuthbert Syn, at the centre of this incident, explaining that he has a heart condition and that he was feeling tired at that point of time. He also avoided playing the blame game by explaining away Chia’s act – “People do not have X-ray eyes. I will just let it go.”
It is truly shameful that an innocent man who was simply on his way home was subject to such public scrutiny and humiliation through no fault of his own. Instead of extending sympathy and understanding to a sick individual, as a society, we have dished out derision and mockery.
We need to stop judging people and assuming the worst of them. Criticizing someone else doesn’t make one a better person. Regardless of how good it might make us feel, it’s time we got off our moral high horse and think before we shoot off our mouths, fingers, or cameras.
What are your thoughts about the whole incident? Do share them in a comment below.