There's A Fine Line Between Standing Up Against Hatred And Cyberbullying

Instead of "cancelling", we should be educating.

Cover image via Evan Vucci/Associated Press/Los Angeles Times & Instagram @samanthakayty

Well 2020, you've certainly been one hell of a year so far

Just when we thought a pandemic was the only battle we had to fight, you've managed to surprise us.

In May, a 22-year-old pro wrestler died tragically after having been a target of online bullying. 22 years of life, gone in a split moment.

And she's just one of the many cases over the years who's faced the brunt of online bullying.

Hana Kimura was a professional Japanese wrestler who died on 23 May.

Image via Twitter @mariaslammy

It's a fine line. A line we've all been guilty of crossing.

Joining the mob in making people "pay" for their wrong. Heck, even I've done it.

Now don't get me wrong. There are serious issues that need to be addressed. Racial discrimination is just one of the many in society today.

In no way am I telling you to sit on your a** and watch the world burn without doing anything.

But where do we draw the line between objectively pointing out hatred and becoming a bully ourselves?

Stick to the topic and avoid getting personal

We start to cross the line when we begin attacking the person instead of the argument or opinion they have.

Sending death threats, posting comments like, "Your soul should rot in hell", "God definitely made a mistake in creating you", or "Your parents should have dropped you when you were young", all seem "fair" to say to someone when defending the innocent.

But in reality, these statements are laced with an agenda and constitutes as bullying.

Image via Instagram
Image via Instagram
Image via Instagram
At the end of the day, calling someone out on their actions is all good until it turns into personal attacks.

We can't progress by dehumanising each other — even if our feelings of hurt and anger are justified

The call-out culture has been especially helpful for racial issues and discrimination faced in LGBTQIA+ communities.

However, it becomes toxic when it's worded in a way that prevents the person from growing and learning from their mistakes. Sure, they said something wrong. And yes, their words/actions may be ignorant.

Instead of 'cancelling', we should be educating. Giving them a chance to improve. We can give someone a wake-up call without bashing them in the process.

No one likes to be accused, especially when it comes from a self-righteous stance

When we're objective with statements like, "I hear you, and here's why I think differently", we have a higher chance of being heard.

It is possible to stand up for what we believe in while doing it without a revengeful mindset. 

After all, wouldn't an eye for an eye only put us on the same level as the person in question?

This story is the personal opinion of the writer. You too can submit a story as a SAYS reader by emailing us at [email protected]

There are other practical ways of making a point online:

Cyberbullying is a punishable offence in Malaysia:

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