Coffee Talk Siri #2: Virus Kebencian Di Media Sosial

 

Tarikh: 26 September 2020 | Sabtu

Masa: 8.30 – 9.45 pm (Malaysia)

Pautan Pendaftaran: https://bit.ly/3c1an13

 

Coffee Talk Siri #2 bersama cendekiawan dan pemimpin belia kali ini akan mengambil kira latar belakang pandemik Covid-19 yang berlaku pada hari ini. Di mana wujudnya peningkatan pada ucapan kebencian di media sosial dengan penyebaran maklumat yang menyasarkan kepada kumpulan kaum dan agama tertentu. Selain itu, kebencian ini berisiko untuk menular dalam ruang fizikal seharian yang boleh diterjemah dalam bentuk sikap dan perbuatan mendiskriminasi dan keganasan.

Antara persoalan yang ingin dirungkai termasuk; Bagaimanakah penggunaan media sosial secara tidak beretika telah menyumbang kepada permasalahan ini dan apakah etika penggunaan media sosial? Apakah cara-cara untuk mengurangkan risiko ucapan kebencian yang berpotensi menarik pendapat umum yang bersifat regresif dalam isu kaum dan agama? Apakah peranan masyarakat, kerajaan dan lain-lain? Bagaimanakah kesan IR 4.0 dan big data terutama dalam medium media sosial terhadap masyarakat?

 

Maklumat Panelis

 

Mukmin Nantang

Mukmin bin Nantang adalah pengasas Borneo Komrad. Berasal dari Tawau, Sabah dan merupakan graduan dalam bidang Sastera (Seni Kreatif) dari Universiti Malaysia sejak berusia 18 tahun. Mukmin bergerak aktif ketika menjadi mahasiswa di universiti dan teguh memperjuangkan isu-isu kebajikan mahasiswa dan masyarakat. Selain menulis buku, beliau kini berkhidmat sebagai guru di sekolah alternatif dan sedia mendidik anak-anak yang tidak mempunyai kewarganegaraan. Pada masa yang sama, beliau turut memberi advokasi secara meluas di media sosial dan memenuhi jemputan pihak luar untuk memberi pencerahan tentang isu-isu anak-anak terpinggir, pendidikan, isu-isu belia dan mahasiswa di sekitar isu semasa.

 

Jean Vaneisha

Jean Vaneisha merupakan seorang belia berumur 25 tahun dan telah aktif dalam pergerakan belia sejak tahun 2016 melalui organisasi politik Challenger Malaysia. Baru-baru ini, beliau sebagai koordinator program telah menganjurkan Parlimen Digital dengan 3 buah organisasi lain. Beliau juga merupakan timbalan ketua pengarang Ohisit.my.

 

Victoria Cheng

Victoria Cheng adalah Ketua Pengurus Program di Projek Dialog, sebuah organisasi pembangunan sosial yang bertujuan untuk mempromosikan wacana yang sihat di kalangan rakyat Malaysia. Beliau kerap bekerja dengan anak muda dengan menggunakan media baru dan platform kreatif untuk mengetengahkan isu-isu semasa, dalam masa yang sama memperkasakan suara terpinggir di ruang yang inklusif. Beliau adalah Pengarah Festival untuk Pesta Filem KITA yang merupakan pesta filem untuk anak muda yang meraikan kepelbagaian dan suara-suara baru.

 

Amirul Mukminin

Amirul Mukminin seorang yang cintakan tanah air, budaya dan bangsa. Beliau merupakan lepasan pondok tradisional di Kedah dan kini melanjutkan pelajaran dalam bidang Sains Politik dan Hubungan Antarabangsa peringkat Pasca-Siswazah dan fokus beliau adalah kepada kajian Geostrategi. Selain terlibat aktif dalam acara-acara intelektualisme dan advokasi polisi, beliau juga membantu beberapa penyelidikan dalam bidang berkaitan.

 

 

Naim Al-Kalantani

Naim Abd Aziz atau lebih dikenali sebagai Naim Al-Kalantani kini menuntut di ASWARA dalam bidang Penulisan Kreatif di peringkat Ijazah Sarjana Muda. Selain bidang sastera dan seni penulisan kreatif, beliau juga meminati kajian seputar tema perbandingan agama dan pemikiran Islam.

 

SUMMARY

 

Where does hate come from?

According to Victoria Cheng, hate is not necessarily a virus. Rather it is a phenomenon which comes from fear and anger, in turn being directed to groups or individuals who are ‘different’ from one’s own. Most of the times people get confused about anger and hate. They thought that the two are the same when it is vice versa. Anger usually comes with an objective and most of the time that objective is a positive one. Whereas hate comes with a negative objective such as in group bias or preferences.

Mukmin Nantang agreed  that hate is the outcome of political, economic and educational systems imbued with preferences and priorities on the basis of race and  ethnicity which clearly need to be eradicated. Consequently, this has caused inequality and affected members of the society resorting to take their frustration to limited avenues such as the social media. 

However, Amirul Mukminin offered a contrasting opinion stating that the two are not separate but it is in fact the same. Hate is not a product of fear but it is the product of anger. He opined that whenever someone is mad, it will open doors to being hateful.

 

How hate operates on social media

The instantaneous feature of social media has led to the feelings of hate as being easily actualised on the platform and easily echoed by many who share the same hateful sentiment. Victoria stated that hate is the opposite of compassion which shows a sign of vulnerability and makes people uncomfortable. Therefore, it is easy to see instances where society embarked on a collective movement riding on hate on social media for example that directed towards  the migrant workers during the pandemic outbreak. 

Besides that, it seems to be a trend where social media users  play  the character of the oppressed. They treat  digital platforms as a place for validation and garnering support to jump on the bandwagon of  ‘woke culture’. Until it escalates to a level of toxicity such as misusing the ‘cancel culture’ that leads to character assassination of certain individuals. If someone offers a dissenting opinion to something that is against the woke culture, this might lead to some stranger digging up his or her tweet from 6 years back and rallying the public support to cancel him or her on Twitter.

Jean Vaneisha reminded that people who play the character of the oppressed do not necessarily mean that they did so for social validation. It could be their lived reality to tell the public about it.  For example, a person who talks about the danger of depression does not necessarily seek validation in the same way that an oppressed person talking about his or her experience might not necessarily want to play a victim. Jean emphasised that having a dissenting opinion is not the same as hate speech. People are often confused between hate speech and disagreement or angry disagreement. Hate speech means a verbal attack on someone based on  religion, ethnicity or nationality,  whereas disagreement is merely a difference of opinion and nothing is wrong with that. She also added that representation of race, religion and gender  are crucial in voicing out about issues affecting one particular community. But identity should not be seen as a barrier that stops someone from being critical of matters related to  other races and religions especially in the context of pluralistic Malaysia. 

In response, Mukmin Nantang accentuated that to discuss only about hate on social media would be counterproductive as the focus should be on preparing society to understand the power dynamics of hate on social media. He cited the most recent example of power dynamics in politics where the news on The Philippines’s claim over Sabah has intensified with the coming of Sabah election. All in the name of garnering the support of voters. Normally, this happens on online spaces and there is no doubt that the impact is exaggerated in comparison to  physical spaces. 

 

The importance of contextualising  hate speech

There are so many contextual intricacies in dealing with hate speech. Amirul Mukminin raised the question of how are we going to ban hate speech without banning the freedom of speech? According to him, it is extremely dangerous to have a universal definition of hate speech when it is always a shared conflict all around the world. Every country has a problem with regards to hate speech. Similarly, it is dangerous if it is not contextualised because in a worst case scenario where it opens doors to the abuse of power by the authorities if they decides to enact laws labelling any consenting opinions to their ideologies as a form of hate speech. For instance, a predominantly religious country would label and criminalise any form of criticism against religion as  hate speech in countries like  Pakistan, Indonesia and Malaysia. 

Aside from that, Amirul opined that restrictions on freedom of expression with regard to  ‘hate speech’ shall be interpreted by ‘language experts’ and it is more just  rather than exclusive  interpretation by the ‘politicians or religious leaders’. This is important to grasp the notion of the language. Sensitivities that are tailored to the  local context are relevant to preserve the harmonious relationship between intercultural and interreligious society. For instance, the word ‘bapok’ and ‘transgender’ refers to the same group or individuals or when the word ‘keling’ or ‘India’ is used, it refers to the same etnic or racial group.But one connotes negative notion while the other a positive one. Even so, the whole context of the hate speech in a full sentence cannot be judged simply by the usage of that one word per se. 

Difficulty arises when hate speech is not localised as it will create a state of non-existing problem, to which Victoria agreed. To cite an example, the leaning left or ‘Bangsar Bubble’ is adamant in importing problems in the USA to Malaysia when most of the time it is not even a problem at the local level.  To cite an example, one user on Twitter called out the local celebrity Mira Filzah for doing a photoshoot donning the Indian traditional wedding dress accusing her of exploiting the Indian culture for profit. Regardless of that, many Malaysian Indian backed Mira Filzah saying that there’s nothing wrong with it as this is what it means to celebrate cultural diversity. It is just the same as an Indian woman donning the cheongsam or when a Chinese girl puts on a baju kurung.Sure, the international standard to hate speech is important but so is defining it in accordance to the local context, with the background of culture and language.