A five-minute public service spot addressing cyber violence went viral in Thailand today.
The latest production from Thai company CP All, known for creating promo spots tackling hot-button issues, ends their latest work with a voice that says, “Don’t judge anyone by one-sided stories. Open your mind before judging anyone for a better society.”
The scripted cyber violence spot depicting a cruel woman collecting rent from stall keepers at a market had 13 million views on CP All’s Facebook page and about 1.4 million views on its YouTube channel by December 25. The video was first posted online December 15.
The short video tells the story of how a few Internet users uploaded short clips of a landlady collecting rent from stall keepers at a market.
The woman is rude and mean to the stall keepers.
In the first clip, she yells and throws a scale to the ground.
Another clip features two thugs carrying a stall keeper against his will while she shouts, “Bring him here! Follow me this way!”
The first clip went viral shortly after it was posted online and received 3 million views in 72 hours.
Similar to what is seen on the Internet, violent content can spread fast.
Internet users turned into vigilantes out for justice against a woman who oppressed the poor.
But the short videos only featured one side of the story.
The woman dropped the weight scale because the stall keeper was ripping off customers by short weighing the items people bought from him.
And the two thugs were carrying the stall keeper to a safe spot so he could lie down and recover from dizziness.
It turns out the woman is kind-hearted and helped the stall workers transition from their street vendor jobs.
The video revealed the truth behind online behavior as Internet users typically believe most of what they see, and post messages using foul language to defend their views.
Cyber violence is a growing problem in Thailand. A study conducted on 1,200 vocational and secondary students in Bangkok found that slightly more than half had been victims of cyber bullying. But online violence acted out against people other than students has hardly been addressed.
According to the Thai newspaper The Nation, last August a group of Thai tourists were victims of an online witchhunt after they were filmed walking in a fragile thermal area at Yellowstone National Park in the US.
Afterwards, a Thai Facebook page called “Social hunter1” published the photos of the tourists and included their social media accounts featuring “witch hunt” threats.
The video received many comments, most of them attacking the group, who unknowingly wandered into an off-limits zone.
One of the tourists explained that his group had followed another group of Westerners who had already been in the same area. He said they immediately left the area after a man shouted a warning.
My Thai friend told me cyber violence in Thailand often happens to pop stars, which could be true to many countries.
I think to some extent this ad started positive dialogue for people to take the issue seriously.
Today we hear stories and news from the online world, but how should we judge them? How do we know that what we are watching is authentic and the real story?
Thai netizens shared their thoughts on the issue. I selected a few reactions on the ad.
· Ex pected: Do not judge people just as what we see in a clip or in the online world. Many people’s lives have been ruined because others share content about them.
· Mirinma: I'm not sure if this is the case, but I think this is a good idea. My first feeling is guilty as we are one of those people who take and share a short clip without really know the whole story. Thanks for sharing this with me.
· ผู้หญิง ลั้นลา: It is a reflection of the current society. Everyone will believe what they see, but never to ponder over the cause of the problem. People nowadays tend to share things with hashtags like #sharedfirst #isthewinner, without caring about whether someone would get hurt or be affected by what they share.
· Boontarika Nat: This is a very good reflection of society. Through watching a short clip does not mean that things are always as what we see. We should think harder more before judging anyone from a few seconds of video.
PhoeNixNon: Oh, that's the first time that I saw this real brutalization. I do not know what to do. We should not judge people from outside. We should not judge people from one-side alone.