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The following article is submitted to the Editorial of Malaysia Gazette by reader, Yeap Ming Liong.

Please be courteous while commenting and discussing on social media. There is no need to lash out and use harsh, rude and sometimes vulgar words when there are differences in opinion or when things get heated.

I personally carry a flag for the notion of free speech. However, let me remind all social media and online users that free speech must not be abused in such a manner.

Being courteous online is also a reflection of humility and the Malaysian way of life. If there are differences in opinions at all it can always be handled in a matured and civilized way.

Some online users have the courtesy to at least use their real names while commenting and discussing taking some responsibility for their words and actions. However, there are also users who hide behind the mask of anonymity when commenting on social media.

They achieve this through a pseudonym or a dummy account and it is these individuals who have the audacity and bravery to comment whatever their heart desires without a care for the feelings of others and at times their words may even run afoul of the law.

My message to all social media users is to be mindful of your words. Please be gents and ladies. Do not be overwhelmed with negative emotions while commenting. Your harsh and rude words will only contribute to a vicious cycle and it will also be translated to your behavior offline.

Please be courteous, responsible and respectful of others while commenting online. Don’t hurt the feelings of others.

Yeap Ming Liong
Subang Jaya, Selangor