Internet not isolated kingdom despite influence [Global Times]
(Global Times Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) It is not uncommon that having millions of followers online fuels the ego of some Weibo celebrities, which can be seen in their arrogant and aggressive tone. Besides mercilessly lampooning the authorities, they also reprimand grass-roots Net users who hold different opinions. They are fond of making criticism, but resist criticism against themselves.The shakeup of power between traditional and emerging media took place so quickly that some "Big Vs" grasped discourse power through the Internet at lightning speed. They enjoy their significance online and deeply believe in it. Meanwhile, they lack or even deny a sense of responsibility that should match the growing power of discourse.In reality, the powerful group often faces clear restraints. They are aware that there are certain boundaries on behavior and that breaking such boundaries means the risk of punishment. Nonetheless, some "Big Vs" believe their power of influencing society should be boundless, and restricting their power means "striking freedom of speech" or even "violating the constitution."For a period, almost no one dared to challenge "Big Vs" online, since irking them may mean being besieged by their followers. They can say anything online, and lead public opinion according to their likes and dislikes. In many circumstances, they are more powerful than traditional media.However, there are common boundaries that any type of discourse power must abide by, for instance, it should not foment social chaos, or damage national identity. Breaking these boundaries means standing against the social majority. Some "Big Vs" not only helped rumormongering, but some of the rumors aimed at challenging these boundaries. The influence of "Big Vs" is realistic, but it is quite fragile too. Completely relying on the Internet, the "Big Vs" can only realize their social values through positive contributions to the construction of a social spirit. And such "positivity" can only be decided by the social majority. The Internet, which is featured by its openness, is not an "isolated kingdom" in both legal and moral terms.Modesty is one of the most important ethical values in real society. It should be cherished online too. Self-overestimation or self-indulgence can only mislead one's words and deeds and harm society.It seems extremely difficult to call for self-reflection and self-criticism online. This is a thought-provoking issue amid the widespread verbal violence on the Internet.
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