Recently, I found myself pondering a profound topic: the concept of public responsibility. It’s interesting how two unrelated events, happening at different corners of the world, managed to intertwine in my thoughts and brought me face to face with the idea of our collective responsibility as members of society.
The first incident revolved around a disturbing scandal in South Korea involving celebrities, Seungri and Jung Joon Young. The revelations of a sex chat group and the unauthorized sharing of explicit videos of women brought a sense of shock and outrage. While some fans attempted to defend their idols’ involvement, it became evident that those who witnessed and sustained the existence of such a group were far from innocent. By merely being bystanders, they indirectly supported illegal and unethical actions, perpetuating the harm caused to the victims. Reflecting on this, it became clear to me that silence and inaction are also forms of complicity.
This reminded me of a similar incident from years ago when a sex tape of a singer, Hoang Thuy Linh, circulated. In my younger years, I succumbed to curiosity and watched a part of the video. However, I soon realized the gravity of my actions; I had invaded someone’s privacy and participated in their violation. Regardless of whether I was the one disseminating the content, my mere engagement with it contributed to the perpetuation of the wrongdoing.
Moving on to the second incident, the tragic Christchurch shooting in New Zealand shocked the world. After the revelation that the shooter had recorded the horrifying act, the citizens of New Zealand collectively decided on a course of action: not to mention the perpetrator’s name, not to distribute the video, not to watch the video, and not to read the killer’s manifesto. Their rationale was simple, yet profound; by denying the shooter the infamy he desired, they hoped to prevent the spread of his inhumane message.
It is true that many who view such content do so out of curiosity rather than malice. Yet, even if some may argue that their individual actions may not significantly impact the situation, collectively, we can make a difference. We have the power to choose not to contribute to the perpetuation of tragedy and not to partake in the invasion of someone’s privacy. If we were to put ourselves in the shoes of the victims or their loved ones, we would realize the immense pain caused by the dissemination of such videos.
As we witness the media’s coverage of these events, a stark contrast emerges in the approach taken by certain media outlets. In New Zealand, the focus remains on the victims and their families, rather than giving undue attention to the perpetrator. This compassionate approach sets an example of how responsible reporting can help heal wounds and build a more empathetic society.
In conclusion, I can’t help but reflect on the profound impact of our actions and choices in shaping the world we live in. Embracing public responsibility means acknowledging the power we hold to uplift or harm others. Let us be conscious consumers of information, mindful of how our choices contribute to the narratives that shape our society. Together, we can foster a culture of empathy, respect, and compassion, leaving a positive mark on the world.
Join me on this journey of understanding and introspection, as we navigate the delicate balance between curiosity and public responsibility. Let us strive to be responsible individuals who choose empathy over apathy, and kindness over indifference. Together, we can make a difference.
Edited by Lehoai