Organisation hopes Wise Wan can help curb cyber-bullying

A PeopleACT survey last year found that 400 Malaysians felt a hateful comment is a violent form of cyberharassment.

THE Malaysian Centre for Constitutionalism and Human Rights has launched a campaign called #WiseUpWithWan to counter hateful comments in cyberspace.

The campaign, launched under the People Against Cyber Threats (PeopleACT) initiative, is aimed at curbing online shaming, intimidation, death and rape threats, as well as other forms of online violence.

It will feature JPG posters of Wise Wan, a character that urges netizens to “wise up and let go of hate” and to “think before they type and not let cyberharassment win.”

“Internet users often feel free to use words and images to provoke others,” said Lim Ka Ea, PeopleACT campaigner.

“But there is a point when trolling escalates beyond the offensive and shocking into cyberharassment or cyberstalking,” she added.

“With #WiseUpWithWan campaign, we want to showcase a message of defiance against cyberharassers, and encourage netizens to choose their words wisely in an attempt to stamp down violence and shoot down hate within our online space.”

‘Words can hurt more than you know’ would be among the taglines featured in the JPG posters created by PeopleACT.

Lim said, each poster calls to put a stop to the use of “deeply damaging hateful comments” in the world of online harassment.

“Words like ‘Slut face, go back to your country!’, ‘If I see you, I’ll shoot you!’ or even unassuming remarks like ‘That’s so retarded!’ can be demeaning and hateful if not treated carefully,” she said.

The posters can be viewed at

MCCHR has been holding consultative meetings with governmental and non-governmental stakeholders to gather input on an issue paper drafted last year on whether the current laws in Malaysia are sufficient to address cyber-harassment.

It seeks public participation by submitting their feedback on the issue paper by 7 October 2017.

“Due to the anonymous nature of the internet, online harassers feel emboldened and uninhibited when making death threats, rape threats and other abusive comments.

“With (this) campaign, we hope to make our cyberspace safer, more respectful and empowering for all Malaysians through legislative reform and public awareness,” Lim said.

A survey conducted by PeopleACT last year found that 400 Malaysians felt that a hateful comment is a violent form of cyberharassment.

One in six men (as opposed to one in nine women) have experienced online shaming—having their personal details and photos exposed by someone who disagrees with them, the civil group said.

Women are at least twice as likely to be victims of online sexual harassment (20.9%) compared to men (9.8%), the group said. – September 21, 2017.

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