2012 Is Coming: Make A Stand, Speak Up

The Internet has become a dwelling place for many of us. As the number of people surfing the Web increases, the more it is becoming a potent force for change but, being part of them, have we done our share to make it a better place to live? Have we not been gullible to ‘like’ and ‘share’ unverified reports that made some people feel miserable? Yes, we may enjoy the ride when we join a bandwagon but is that where you want to be?

The Internet is a level playing field. The suggestions and opinions we post in it have the same weight with that of others regardless of our race, age and gender. Each one of us can make a choice on any issue presented to us. You can choose to be silent and just watch things happen but that’s not the best thing to do. Complacency has no place in the current dangerous world that we live in. You must make a stand, speak up and be counted.

The year 2011 had not been so nice to some netizens because of cyberbullies and trolls who find happiness in mocking their fellow beings. I, myself, was a victim of a libelous blog post by a fellow who had tried to use me as the scapegoat on a malversation case he committed. I sought legal remedies but the absence of a law on Internet libel had caused the case I filed to languish in the prosecutor’s office for almost a year now.

Though you may have not been victims of these unwanted web creatures, I urge that you do our part in making the cyberspace a safe place for everyone. The personal experience I mentioned above has strengthened my resolve to adhere to ethical net practices. More than anything, we should speak up in 2012 and commit ourselves to do the following:

  1. Resist Cyberbullying – We may want to do it just for fun but joining a bandwagon to mock someone for what he said or what he did is a sure way to cause harm. Cyberbullying is not a joke and can cause immeasurable stress to victims. To my knowledge, there had been no reported suicide caused by cyberbullying in our country but this should not be a reason for us to post anything that could negatively affect anyone.
  2. Avoid Sharing Unverified Information – How many time have we forwarded or shared information that we have not first verified? While we may not get ‘burned’ in the few instances that we disseminate false information, let us stop now and not wait for the time when our readers would no longer believe us.
  3. Respect the Intellectual Property Rights of Others – Using pirated software and plagiarizing the literary work of others are violative of our existing law for the protection of the intellectual property rights of writers  and developers. When we steal the work of others, we not only violate the law but we also disobey the Golden Rule that says “Do not do unto others what you do not like others do unto you.”.
  4. Do Not Be Silent, Say What You Want - Each of us is entitled to our own opinion but we would not know what you want if you won’t tell us. There’s time to listen and there’s time to speak. You won’t get what you want unless you go for it.

Change can make things better. Resist change and and we won’t prosper. Given the chance, what would you resist and what would you change in 2012?

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