A photo branding a 13-year-old from Malacca as a rapist went viral last week, complete with the boy’s full name, MyKad number and home address.
Thousands upon thousands of bloggers and Facebook users shared the photo even before the incident was verified, and most of them took no effort to conceal the boy’s face or identity.
According to lawyer and the Kuala Lumpur Bar Council’s IT committee co-chairman Foong Cheng Leong, those who shared the photo were guilty of an offence.
Section 15 on Child Act 2001 states that anyone found to have circulated an image or personal details of an underagesuspect would be liable to a hefty fine, a prison term of not more than five years, or both.
So, are Malaysian netizens becoming too reckless with what they share on social media?
While using social media to help raise awareness on crime has worked well so far, questions have to be asked on how so many disregarded the law to share the 13-year-old’s photo.
@thestar_rage: Are people becoming too quick to judge on social media?
@DrS94: Definitely. Sometimes without even knowing the full story or all the facts, people spread stories.
@emelynemei: Yeap. People tend to believe whatever they read online whether right/wrong & judge quickly.
@widatkerol: Society should set the bar what things that they can or can’t share on fb.
@Heyyydaaay: With social media, it’s so easy to make news go viral. With a quick RT or share, the news spreads like wildfire. some people share waaay too much online…have they no boundaries?
@joonsunn: I judge people who reshare FB posts abt myths. Most are false, can be checked with Google. Most ppl don’t.
@thestar_rage: Circulating certain posts online could land you in trouble with the law. Have you seen/shared such posts online?
@jumeiii: The other day, about the 13 year old boy who tried to rape a young lady. User even posted his IC number and address
@emelynemei: I never quite knew it’s against the law till the recent case actually 😐
@joonsunn: But some posts contain true information. Responsibility of individuals to verify before resharing.
@JayAnilSS: Very few. Half the time though, I usually think little of it. Let media do its work. Let the people say how they feel via fb.
All these images and info will be right there for all to see. Some will use it to their advantage- they could use it to commit fraud and put the blame on the innocent.
@thestar_rage: On sharing crime-related experiences on social media; do you think it’s really helping or just another form of #clicktivism?
@Kyp_Lim: #clicktivism mainly. Sure, you’re helping by spreading the word, but that’s about it. #trialbyFB
@FSKrieger22: Unfortunately I do think it’s clicktivism. It’s just all words and no real action.
@emelynemei: definitely another form of helping! Makes ppl more aware & careful of the surroundings.
Sharing experience also helps each other on how to deal w/ things if something like this happens to them
@shaunh0: I think it is a form of therapy for trauma for those directly involved.
@JayAnilSS: if good intentioned, then yes. As with the case of the woman who escaped rape, and spread the word to other women to aid them.