Forum: Name-calling, vulgarities have no place in civil discourse

Reading some of the posts on two of the most popular online forums here - SG Talk and HardwareZone - has left me aghast and saddened about the moral fibre of my Singapore compatriots.

Derogatory descriptions of the mannerisms, speech and dress habits of government and community leaders can hardly have any relevance in any debate, feedback, complaints or opinions. They show only the writers' maliciousness, spite and childishness.

In basic writing etiquette, the use of name-calling is a cheap shot, and I feel vulgarity is the lowest form of wit.

Attacks on their targets' family members, who have no involvement in the issues, reflect only the writers' wickedness.

Have we not cultivated a few generations of some of the best-educated people in the world, with our Pisa (Programme for International Student Assessment) scores consistently among the world's best, our textbooks being emulated by First World countries, and experiences in national service and universities building character?

How have we degenerated to such a shameful level?

As responsible citizens, we have a duty to discourage these lowly practices.

This habit of hiding behind a pseudonym to hurl insults, expletives and lies at others, while trying to be one-up on fellow writers, has no place in any reputable forum or, for that matter, in any First World society.

Wong Bheet Huan

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.