Sunday, August 22, 2010

Online Etiquette

Few days ago, I read a blog post of a blogger which joked about a public officer using impolite words.

The next day, the blogger received a comment from another blogger who was annoyed by said post saying that he cannot insult a public officer whom he has voted in the election.

This story reminds me about a similar story that I have read on The Jakarta Post (below).

As a believer in democracy, I am very happy that internet activists in Indonesia are now able to write about many things they want to share with others. However, as a part of a society we must not forget that we also have a responsibility to maintain harmony and tranquility in our society, therefore we should always consider the laws, regulations and etiquette in Indonesia.

Teacher faces charges for Facebook criticism

Wed, 06/10/2009 1:02 PM | National
JAKARTA: Another citizen is facing libel charges, for posting criticism on popular online social network Facebook, in the wake of public outcry over the controversial detention of a housewife in Tangerang for sharing her complaint about hospital services online. 

Indra Sutriafi Pipil, a teacher at a state vocational school in the North Sulawesi city of Kotamubagu, told Antara news agency Tuesday he was also facing dismissal for allegedly defaming Mayor Djelantik Mokodompit.

In his Facebook account, Indra mentioned rampant "corruption of work hours" in the municipality administration office.

Kotamubagu police post chief First Insp. Muhammad Monoarfa said he had received a report filed by municipality administration and handed over the case to the local prosecutor's office.

Reports said Tangerang housewife Prita Mulyasari, Indra would likely be charged under the 2008 Information and Electronic Transaction Law, which carries a maximum sentence of six years in jail.

Regional administration secretary Muhamad Mokoginta admitted the libel lawsuit had been filed against Indra, saying the teacher had discredited the administration. 

"We reported the case to the law enforcers last month." - JP

Photo: Courtesy of Photo Search.


dokebi said...

wait how does her complaining about the services she was taxed for get her into jail?

zainudin said...

for me she have right to complain

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colson said...

Okay, see what you mean;).

Of course I agree one should not throw swearwords, slander or lies at each other. But criticism is an integral part of the public domain ( at least it should be in my opinion).

Criticism may hurt feelings. Hurt feelings should not be the criterion however. If someone uses humour by way of figure of style- satire, mockery- to criticize (abuses or topical persons), it's all right. It may be sharp, mean, gross even, provided it is witty and to the point.

For public persons it should all be part of the game, part of their job. The men and women involved should act like grown ups and not childish. Which every now and then seems to be difficult for people in a powerful position.

They should remember the archetypical court jester. He did a favour to his master ( King, Count) by telling him 'the truth' in a funny but often very rude way. And the master was happy with the jester's critical wit, which made him stay in touch with reality.

Passionate Blogger said...

When someone writes something intended for public consumption, they should be ready to be held responsible for it. However, I agree, the public has a right to criticise/judge all public officers. The public is the boss, man! But there should be a way to differentiate between justified criticisms & defamation.

Kiwi Riverman's Blogesphere said...

There have been young people in NZ dismissed from their jobs for insulting their employers on Facebook.

When using online social sites, just be careful you don't defame or blatantly insult them.

Don't call somebody a liar, just say they are a stranger to the truth.


H. Nizam said...

My point is that one should be wise in criticizing others, i.e. by using proper words, not words that are considered not polite in our society. After all we are mature people.
Re: Prita the lady who was jailed for criticizing a hospital, the law enforcement officers have been over reacting.

If you are referring to the Prita case, she was just using her right to complain. The law enforcement has been over reacting in implementing the ITE law.

@Freelance Jobs,
Thank you for the kind words. I'll go and check your blog.

I agree that tax paying citizens have rights to criticize public officers who are not doing their jobs properly.
But that doesn't mean that they can use words that are not proper to be used in daily life.
If they only talk with their own friends, no problem. But if they write and publicize through the internet, that's very different.
Especially that there is a law that clearly states that such act is unlawful and punishable.
Colson, Indonesia got democracy 12 years ago after going through very tough decades, during which many people sacrificed their blood, sweat and tears. Therefore we should do our best to safeguard it by acting wisely and maturely.

@Ismail/Passionate Blogger,
I agree that the public is the boss of public officers so they can criticize them as long as they use words that are appropriate when communicating through the net.

You are right, if we use word that can only be used verbally and not for writing in the internet, we should be ready to face legal consequences.

Wind said...

I start to discover your country with all the problems in there!
Good luck to you!
Best wishes from Romania!

H. Nizam said...

Please understand that what I wrote on my blog is only about very tiny portion of situation in Indonesia which for me is the best place in the world. Indonesia has lots of BEAUTIFUL things to offer foreigners for leisure, investment, etc.

Cormel said...

This is a great post. Thanks so much for sharing, like always.

H. Nizam said...

Thank's so much for the complement.

stavos said...

Wish i could see Indonesia through your rose tinted glasses.

Patriotism is clouding your judgement. I think you are misleading Wing.

H. Nizam said...

Hi Stavos,
First of all I would like to thank you for your visit and comment. I wish that you mentioned your blog so that I can visit your blog.
About my post:
As any blogs, my blog contain my own personal opinion on each subject matter that I wrote. I don't pretend to be writing on behalf of any other persons. There's an exception of course e.g quotes. If you think my judgments is clouded by patriotism, you are right. I think this is okay because I never ask others to think or feel the same way like I do. And they are free to give their own opinion on this blog.
Nice meeting.