Quote unquote requote and the end of democracy

Recently a quoted quote from MP Zainudin Nordin went out of control in the social sphere. A blogger had decided that it was fun to create a photoshop of him with part of his quote. The blogger decidedly highlighted a specific statement “Gang rape is after all democracy in action” on it. This, of course, got the attention of MP and the blogger was asked to remove the photo. Note that the demand was not to stop commenting on his quoted quote, but a specific request to remove a misrepresented photo. Of course, like an unapologetic spoilt child who just drove over the neighbour cat with his Ferrari complaining that the cat dirtied the tires, he complained about it on this blog:

http://gangasudhan.blogspot.sg/2013/05/cease-desist-what-mr-zainudin-nordin.html

Honestly, I don’t think there is anything wrong with Zainudin asking for a cease or desist regarding the photo. Of course, the blogger claimed that even though the photo was misrepresented, he did put in text where the quotes came from. But anyone from advertising can tell you that the first few seconds is very important to make the impression on the audience. It doesn’t matter if you explain in 100 pages below the picture, people will see the picture and make a quick judgement around it immediately, some may not even bother to read the explanation. For me, what the photo was trying to convey in a few seconds is that Zainudin blames rape victim on too much freedom or democracy. Secondly, it attributes the quotes to have been spoken by the MP himself. This is a malicious intend trying at character slander if you ask me. Instead of apologising for the mistake and removing the photo, the blogger tried to side-line the topic. Yes, the topic is important, but we should not go about our business slandering someone by purposely misquoting him/her. What the blogger should have done is to apologize, remove the photo and then continue with the business of debating on the quote.

Incidentally, Cherian George pointed out a similar phenomena he saw in social media. People in social media are too quick to jump at accusing them of conspiracy and when the events turned out to be different from what they original thought, nobody apologised, no one admitted that they had made a mistake. Indeed no one reflected that they should have been more objective in the first place to prevent such incidents again.

http://journalism.sg/2013/05/10/when-watchdogs-bark-up-the-wrong-tree-lets-not-airbrush-the-error/

Of course, the internet is always full of such cases, but there are also those who play by the rules ethically. I see this like the left-right rule when taking an escalator. For those we have learned to be gracious, they know to leave space for people in a hurry, for the rest who are not even aware of such courtesy, they just stay where they want, unaware that they are causing inconvenience.

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2 thoughts on “Quote unquote requote and the end of democracy

  1. Pingback: Daily SG: 13 May 2013 | The Singapore Daily

  2. Dear Kelvin,

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