Help us take care of the comments section

First, thank you for your continuous support. Our comments section is among the most vibrant spaces around in the online space and each article receives hundreds, if not thousands, of comments.

Many a time, I’ve found them informative, insightful and, sometimes, even good for a laugh. It is truly one of the features that set us apart from the competition.

Right now, it relies heavily on community moderation – that means you – to keep it that way.

But of late, I shudder at the increasing number of comments that are downright disturbing. Here are some examples:

-- “You bloody come to my country, not only attack a cab driver but hijack his taxi, AND then run over some poor cleaner who probably is working to support his/her family. F--- you. I hope you stay the rest of your life in prison”

-- “You people worship PRC as god and asking locals to donate, fuuuuuucccc! We will donate once you kick all the f***ing PRCs out of SG.

The anti-foreigner issue

A lot of the unhappiness in Singapore right now centres on the influx of foreigners and rightly so. The competition for limited resources, be it on public services like trains and buses, or housing or in the competitive labour market angers and frustrates many.

And I get it, I do. I take the MRT every day. I eat at the same food courts and hawker centres you do. I shop at the same malls you do.

At a company like Yahoo!, I work with colleagues of all nationalities – among them Chinese, Indians, Filipinos, Vietnamese, Malaysians, Australians, you name it – and deal with the cultural sensitivities that it entails.

I too am upset and angry when I read stories like these:
Suspect in Budget Terminal taxi hijack charged
S'poreans outraged over PRC scholar's 'dog' comment
Whether you blame the foreigners themselves or the current government’s immigration policies, you have a fundamental right to express your dissatisfaction, sadness, frustration, or even outrage, through comments.

But is it a space for vile name-calling, vulgarities or hate-mongering? It is NOT.  
What can you do?

So what can you do to keep our comments section as a place for engaging, lively and even tasty debate?

Firstly, read our comments guidelines.
Secondly, “thumbs down” comments that have no right to be there. “Thumbs up” the ones that are constructive, interesting and thoughtful.

Thirdly, sign in to your account and report abuse or trollers to our customer care folks.

But, most of all, comment responsibly.

Treat our comments space like you would the dinner table at home where you can openly discuss issues with family members or relatives. Agree to disagree, debate or even argue your points – but you would never resort to hurtful insults or name calling, would you?

Thank you again for your support in keeping our comments section alive, vibrant and engaging.   
Jeffrey Oon
Country Editor