Sep 25, 2007

Two racist blogs taken offline

SINGAPORE : Two blogs featuring racist comments have been blocked about a week after the authorities were alerted.

Peppered with vulgarities, the postings carried derogatory remarks about Muslims in Singapore. One blog was created in August and the other earlier this month. Both were apparently created by the same person — a Singapore—based male student, if the user profile on both blogs was to be believed.

Hosted on Google’s Blogger site, both blogs were taken offline last week for violating the host’s "terms of service". Just before they were blocked, the sites registered more than 140 hits in total.

Trainee teacher Tanveer Khan stumbled across the blogs on 9th September. The 32—year—old immediately emailed an alert to the Media Development Authority (MDA).

Three days later, he received a reply that the police were looking into the matter. The blogs were blocked on 18th and 20th September, respectively.

When contacted, a Google spokesperson told TODAY: "When we are notified of the existence of content that violates our Terms of Service, we act quickly to review it and determine whether it violates these policies."

"If we determine that it does, we will remove it immediately."

The spokesperson added: "Blogger prohibits certain kinds of content from being hosted on its servers." More details on specific content that violates the company’s policies are at www.blogger.com/content.g.

In response to queries, the Ministry of Home Affairs said: "The Government has always maintained a strong stance against activities that could disrupt our racial and religious harmony and will not hesitate to take action against those who attempt to do so."

It added: "The Police do not patrol the Internet because it is not practicable to do so. However, when warranted, the Police will inquire and investigate conduct on the Net based on specific intelligence received or information from complaints."

While such inflammatory sites should not be allowed to exist, Hong Kah GRC Member of Parliament Zaqy Mohamad agreed that it was impossible to monitor everything on the Web.

But Mr Tanveer told TODAY: "This person has a dangerous mind and needs to be traced. He must be stopped."

With the proposed changes to the Penal Code tabled last week in Parliament, a person convicted of causing racial and religious disharmony can be jailed up to three years or fined, or both. The Bill is up for debate next month.

Said Mr Zaqy: "If the blogger is found guilty, then I will leave it to the court to decide the punishment. I don’t think there should be an exception in this case." — TODAY/ym

5 comments:

  1. hey Khairul...I totally agree. There's isn't any room for racism in Singapore. Unfortunately some fools think differently...

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  2. people in singapore are still racist, whether they admit it or not.

    making jokes and derogatory comments abt other races = racist. it happens a lot, especially amongst the chinese population, i can vouch for it. granted, not every chinese is like that, but i think a good number are.

    so ignoring all that racial harmony on the surface (society level), i think the real issue to b tackled is at the individual level.

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  3. I think it all boils down to a person's sensitivity. Racism does exist in every country. It's up to us to make that change. Once we do that, we'll be able to educate our children and our families.
    It's not something that's gonna go away. But its worth the try nonetheless.
    Thanks for dropping by Daphne and thanks for the comment :)

    ReplyDelete

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