Saturday, December 16, 2006

The Online Citizen - Moderation vs Freedom

A new initiative is being taken up by some political concerned citizens in Singapore to start a new website accompanied by a forum. This website, The Online Citizen, has been planned with the idea of putting up an alternative credible information/ discussion website for Singaporeans who are politically concerned and aware. The discussion forum is moderated to weed out those flamers (like those you see in my blog's comment section on every posting) and irresponsible posters. However, I was told that rational, sensible and critical comments will still be allowed. There is a fine thin but distinctive line between flaming and critical comments.

Yes, most of us do not like to be moderated but when you read those comments by my detractors in my blog, you will have a good idea why it is a necessity to exercise moderation in order to prevent these agents from trying to discredit these internet forums or websites by putting up flames and graffiti. This seems to be the new strategy of "managing" the internet nowadays!

Personally, I don't really mind these agents from such malicious act as I want the whole world to know that's how politics are being carried out in Singapore. Besides, they could only put up such nonsensical comments in the comment section which did not do much harm to my blog. Besides, we must learn the most important thing about freedom of speech or anything.... it will always come with a little "price" that there will be a minority who will try to put dirt on such freedom.

But for a forum like The Online Citizen, these agents/ detractors/ "internet sub-managers" could just hijack the whole forum and try very hard to discredit the forum altogether. Their aim is, of course, to deprive Singaporean netters a good place to have healthy discussions and discourses.

All the best to The Online Citizen and I hope there will more of such initiatives to come from citizens of Singapore. We could only wear these "internet managers" down by having more and more independent discussion forums.

Goh Meng Seng


Anonymous said...

is it possible to implement 2 versions of the same forum, one with moderation and one without? the moderated forum will be safe from hijack and the troublemakers cannot complain as their comments will still be available on the unmoderated version. it will also provide evidence that the moderation is fair.

Anonymous said...

All these hijackers are from WP. WP shit are well-known for mudslinging. So as now WP people are around, moderation will be needed.

theonlinecitizen said...

Hello Mr Goh,

Thank you for the encouraging words. We would like to take this opportunity to invite you to join the TOC forum as well. (

We look forward to seeing you there and share your knowledge with fellow singaporeans.

As for the forum being moderated. It is a decision taken after some deliberation.

We decided to moderate the forum for the simple reason that we have a responsibility to forummers to maintain the forum as a conducive place for discussion.

Hijackers, spammers, flamers - by their very description - have no wish for such civil & meaningful engagements. Thus, we do not find it necessary to provide them with a platform to disabuse others.

As for whether such moderation would curtail expression and discussions, we will leave it to forummers to decide. We believe that in the long run, forummers will see that we practise minimal moderation and sensible control.

The purpose of the forum is for meaningful discussions, and not to provide a platform to flamers and spammers and baiters.

Come join us and see for yourself.

Wishing you all the best and merry x'mas!


Anonymous said...

WP shit do not understand the meaning of "freedom of speech and expression".

They just want everybody to sing praises of WP. What a bunch of "riff-raff"

Anonymous said...

Why not name it "WP forum for WP members".

Only praises of WP are allowed.

That will save Andrew some time to moderate the forum daily.

Anonymous said...

Don't think we don't know this online citizen shit is started by WP member Andrew PMonkey.

It is more appropriate to name it the "MUDSLINGER FORUM", started by mudslingers for mudslingers.

Anonymous said...

This PMonkey has lost all credibility in Singapore. That's why he no longer dare to use this nick in internet forum.

Anonymous said...

How can this alternative be strong when first the Opposition Party are flamming each other. Learn the power of a team and working together for the Nation, for the Citizens.

Anonymous said...

This useless TOC forum is just another pathetic wayang by the wayang party!

It has little or no discussions except parroting by WP shit!