Another dot in the blogosphere?

Stomp on STOMP

Posted on: April 27, 2014

I had this short conversation on #edsg about the petition to get rid of Stomp. Depending on your browser, the conversation might appear in full or only my initial question might be visible. Click on this tweet link to read the dialogues in full.

There were at least two major responses by the owners of Stomp to netizens who rallied at to stomp it out.

The first was MDA responds to anti-Stomp petition. If I could summarize via tweets or text messages, the responses might be:

  • I doubt the accuracy of numbers, but I show you how many likes and visits we get for our site.
  • You want freedom of expression and we provide it at Stomp, but now you want it shut down.
  • Instead of shutting Stomp down, let us know how we might regulate it.

Stomp tries to be social media but it is not. It is anti-social media.

It thrives on the worst behaviours of social media and hides behind the veil of information via “citizenship journalism”. Behaviours like rumor mongering, taking narrow perspectives, and sensationalizing the trivial or the negative.

Admittedly, these same sorts of behaviours are also present in social media platforms. However, those platforms do not pretend to be actual news sites and are more open to critique and self-regulation.

The second response was Singapore Press Holdings to review STOMP following petition to close ‘public shaming’ site. The headline led with “a review”, but an editor-in-chief reportedly said, “I’m not forcing everyone to read it [STOMP]. If you don’t like it, go elsewhere.” The statement was dismissive of change.

Stomp is like a place of ill-repute that you know exists. While you can ignore it, you know it is still there festering and infecting. How can you not want to do something about it?

I think that the owners of Stomp are missing the point. It is not the freedom to share what you want or to choose what you read. The issue is a lack of respect.

Where is the respect for a person you photograph or video record and then bitch about in a public platform?

Where is the respect for the reader? The near unbridled sensationalism certainly draws attention, but it is ignoble to assume that this is all that matters or what sells.

I say we try to stomp Stomp (and its ilk) out of our collective psyche. If we cannot get rid of it because it is the spawn of a media powerhouse, we can dissuade people from using it. Better still, we can educate our kids to know and behave better than Stomp.


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