With the recent resignation of Mr Goh Meng Seng due to an online squabble, we should take this time to understand the double edged sword that Internet Forums has gave us.
No doubt the Internet is a powerful tool, bridging thoughts together and reducing space to just within your keyboard. With this people across the World can communicate with each other.
In the Internet, you also need not worry about your identity. Names may be registered under a pseudonym so no one really knows who you are. It allows people to speak their minds freely and speak out their true thoughts.
But with all these advantages also comes the disadvantages.
As I said, names are registered under a pseudonym. This also means that anyone can try to impersonate someone. For example, anyone can use the name "BCM" so long as it is not alredy registered in the forum. People may be tricked to believing that that nick is the real person. Moreover, the fake "BCM" may use bad netique and this may be attributed to the real person, causing unneeded trouble for the real person.
If you do use your real name in the Internet, then whatever spoken by you will be taken as a mirror image of your personality. Especially for people in the limelight. Your actions will be scrunitised and any point which people can exploit (includes your political enemies, citizens and foreigners and all those who loves to flame) will seize on it and demand tough action...
It wasn't too long ago that the "Elite" girl Wee Shu Min wrote some controversal article and got burned by many Singapore Netizens. Even though she wasn't a famous person and at that point no one knew that her father is an MP. Her comments were directed at the person, not the article, and were so arrogant to the point people retaliated. Note that they also directed their flames at her person.
In conclusion, you have to conduct yourself well in the Internet. The Internet is a fast and dangerous place to tread if you do not observe the hidden markers. But of course, its still much safer than the OB-markers of the real World.
Note: This post is merely some of the views of the author. Any unhappiness caused if you read is truly regrettable and you can contact me if you really wish to see this post removed.