Friday, March 20, 2015

Re: Video of passenger scolding taxi driver goes viral

Recently, a rude passenger scolding a taxi driver went viral in social media. The daughter of the taxi driver took action in order to seek "justice/respect" (or as an education to others about mutual respects) for her father by exposing the rude passenger's behaviour (without photo) to the masses. This caused the collective effort by the masses to start exposing (although she "pleaded" for netizens not do so) the rude passenger.
The taxi driver's daughter who worked for the media industry pleaded that we should forgive him and that everyone makes mistakes. However, surely she should have known better that her action would inevitably cause the person on the receiving end damage (especially considering that we have a posteriori cases such as the Sim Lim and Anton Casey saga just to mention a few). What is there "to forgive" if her action caused devastation to that person (especially considering how eager Singaporeans are to destroy someone based on a single reported action).
As expected, the taxi driver's daughter's action produced another internet "kill".
First, the rude passenger was identified, then insulted/humiliated online (and it would have been worst if his Facebook account was still active). Subsequently, the masses dragged his family and friends into the picture. On top of all these comes the harassment and ridicules from the public (I guess).
I would say that she (taxi's daughter working for the media industry) should know fully the consequences of her action (especially considering her profession and exposure) although she claimed that her action was just to get an apology.
She was reckless in her action to destroy someone in social media by her action. What prior cases have taught us is that the people and the family will suffer the consequences of being demonized in social media (based on a mistake).
Father of rude passenger blames self for son's behaviour. Singaporeans should all be very proud by now (or are we equally guilty)?

Now, are all of us saints?
Did Singapore education system penalize us for the first mistake we made in tests (and hence the inexplicable eagerness of the populace to penalize a person for his/her first reported mistake while ignoring all else)? If not, why do we still judge a person by one mere action/mistake (or are we shallow or angry people nowadays)?
People are rude, obnoxious and repugnant. That is unavoidable fact. But how do we judge a person? Based on a single action/mistake or based on the overall picture? Surely, lacking the latter shouldn't be an excuse to form biased judgement on anyone, yes!?
If the education system is based on judging a student's intelligence based on the first response to the first question in a test, most students will be doomed to be called "STUPID".
To the taxi driver's daughter (I have this to say):
  1. Your father did well in this situation BUT you didn't. As a service provider, your father knew the concept of "Customers are always right (even though when they aren't)". 
  2. In your line of work (based on your age of 27 yo I would gather that you have at least two years working experience), surely you have encountered unruly and rude bosses or superiors (or customers), no? For examples, superiors who demanded more of your work performance than you can handle and would be unreasonable and insinuative about your competency? Did you expose and demonize these superiors the same way as your father's "boss" (the rude passenger)?
  3. People are rude but did it ever occur to you that there was a possibility that this particular rude passenger was "preconditioned" by previous/recent experience with a taxi driver (or few taxi drivers) who cheated him (and thus explained his irrational defensive behaviour and obsessive thought that taxi drivers are conniving and deceitful)? So, who are we to judge a person and what right do we have to expose this person to "netivultures" (netizen of vultures) when we are no better ourselves (e.g. failure to empathize or being more considerate)?
  4. Are you proud of the result, to see the person who insulted your dad gets "justice"?
  5. FYI, most people in Singapore are rude and sometimes we are rude too. We are trigger-happy to get emotional and angry at the slightest provocation, and we are impatient and reckless to form quick judgement on any other people. Probably being a too-educated-society has its disadvantage that we are becoming too demanding of society (and government) in terms of expectations. Sometimes, I think we should reflect on ourselves before seeing others in the same light.
 For the netivultures:
  1. Did hiding behind IP addresses (or VPN) and anonymity shed our human-selves and reveal our true-selves?
  2. To those who betrayed your friends/colleagues/neighbours/personal-data-protection-act by exposing people to netivultures, are you proud of yourself?
  3. Lastly, to those involved in furnishing personal data of the above passenger, be prepared to face any legal consequences of your action for all the rules that were broken to expose the above person, e.g.
  • By misusing the CCTV spy-camera mounted on the taxi clip of passenger (although the face of person wasn't shown) - I'm NOT sure if it had been a spy-cam or the regular CCTV on the road because these days, taxi are mounted with spy cams (which is invasion of privacy to me).
  • By the action of taxi driver's daughter to upload it on the net (instead of handling them to police or making a police report or civil case), or
  • By the taxi company in exposing certain clients' particulars (which is way serious than the rest).
  • The above are all illegal (e.g. in breach of personal-data-protection-act) and legal action can be brought against those involved (especially the taxi company). If we wanted legal justice, the taxi driver's daughter or the taxi company should have brought a civil case against the rude passenger instead of putting the latter in harm/danger of public harassment (in which case you are legally liable if your action caused harm to this particular passenger). Legal definition of "harm" is broad and general and it could be defined as physical or psychological (e.g. suicidal) effect.

When will we learn?
We shouted freedom of expression but when we got that, it doesn't come together with responsibility/moderation in our expression. If the passenger is rude, what makes the rest of us?

Are we any better than the rude passenger? Read this.
I am sickly sad of the comments made in Yahoo News pertaining to Lee Kuan Yew

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