#NotAKeyboardWarrior

Sitting comfortably behind a monitor screen at home, fingers waltzing across the keyboard in a synchronized rhythm, opinions flowing through from the thinking process of our brain straight into the cyberworld. Yet, he/she isn’t creating a beautiful article on the magic of social relationships; he/she is spewing forth hurtful comments to a Facebook status update on his/her “friend”.

Sounds familiar? Yes? No?

Be it on the receiving end of the hurtful comment, or the person dishing it out, there is a high chance that you have faced something similar. According to a survey by the Singapore Polytechnic in 2011, 68.4% of youths aged 18 to 35 were reported to have had experiences, or known people who have had experiences, with the various forms of cyber aggression, with 50.4% having received unwanted emails or messages and another 21.3% having been made fun of online. Yet, 43.9% of respondents in the same study revealed that they still hold indifferent attitudes towards cyber-aggression, which hints that youths are becoming conditioned to accept such misbehavior as the norm.

#NotAKeyboardWarrior, comprised of four undergraduates from NTU’s Wee Kim Wee School of Communication, aims to create awareness on how to be more civilized and overall, nicer, in the social media world. Partnering up with Harley Davidson’s Singapore, the team highlighted that looking tough and cool does not have to come at the expense of hurting others. 

From December 2013, the team set up a Facebook page and a website to spark online presence. #NotAKeyboardWarrior (http://www.notakeyboardwarrior.com/) will also share statistic and infographics via social media platforms. The main event was held at the open space at *Scape. Many members of the public were encouraged to have their pictures taken with the Harley Davidson Sportster 1200 on display, a photopledge, coupled with the #NotAKeyboardWarrior placard. Testimonials from numerous members of the public further emphasized that visitors to the event understood and will be more aware of their comments on social media sites. 

The campaign garnered a total of 12 online and offline media coverage.#NotAKeyboardWarrior was featured on MediaCorp Channel 5, The Independent Singapore, mUmbrella SG, and Coconuts SG, to name a few. The Media Literacy Council also listed and mentioned #NotAKeyboardWarrior on their main webpage as part of their Safer Internet Day initiative.