I had not really followed the happenings between Xiaxue (who is Wendy Cheng in real life) and Dawn Yang, but I did read a little about what happened. Apparently, Wendy had defamed Dawn in one of her many people-offending posts (perhaps she believes in being straight forward), which allegedly called bluffs on some of Dawn’s claims on the people she knew, amongst many other things. It was believed that there were also personal attacks on Dawn.

Striking back, Dawn engaged lawyers from Khattar Wong and filed a defamation suit against Wendy, demanding a public apology and a settlement of sorts. Wendy in return has hired her own lawyers and has until Tuesday to respond to the case. As this is going on, many people in the blogosphere are wondering if this is just a show.

So, if it is, how far should it go? If it isn’t, how far will it last before the public believes that it is for real? Personally, I think the line is drawn when either party brings it to the courts. You see, a lawyer’s letter is nothing yet until the case is brought into the courts. When this happen, the jurisdiction of the Singapore government (or for that matter, any government in most countries) is brought into place where the matter can be presented. Moreover, such details will be recorded in the courts officially and I think it’d be too high a price for either party to pay just to bring up their "entertainment value".

Moreover, either party runs the risk of being charged with contempt of court if the matter is not handled properly. That, becomes an offence so serious that it follows the affected persons for life. For entertainment, that is not worth it. Of course, if it really is an act, then the cost is obviously bore by the respective management agencies who will foot the bill (for the lawyers?) as "marketing costs".

Wendy had been a well-known blogger for about 7 years before Dawn broke into the scene some 3 to 4 years ago. These 2 were quickly reigned to be the queens in the Singapore blogosphere – both being involved in high profile TV shows and media coverage. Some might have thought that a recent slow-down in their profiles may have led to this defamation suit to be played out so as to put the names of Wendy aka Xiaxue and Dawn back on the lips of bloggers and blog readers.

As Stickgal aptly puts it:

Drawing copyrights of http://www.stickgal.blogspot.com. Go pop by her blog for more cute drawings! =)

Virtual catfight

Blogger Dawn Yang wants Xiaxue to apologise for defaming her; others see the spat as ‘entertainment’

By Debbie Yong

The bad blood between the two reigning queens of the local blogosphere has come to a boil.

Last Friday, blogger Wendy Cheng, who goes by the online moniker Xiaxue, received a letter from the lawyer of fellow blogger Dawn Yang.

It called on Ms Cheng to make a public apology for alleged defamatory remarks she made against Ms Yang, and to propose a settlement for damages.

‘We hope to seek an amicable resolution to the matter without going to court,’ lawyer K. Anparasan told The Sunday Times yesterday.

He is from Khattar Wong, the firm Ms Yang hired for the case.

Ms Cheng has hired a lawyer from Keystone Law Corporation but has declined to say what she will do next. She has until Tuesday to respond to the letter.

Ms Yang is currently on holiday in Sydney and could not be reached for comment.

The legal action stems from a blog entry that Ms Cheng, 23, made on June 30.

In a lengthy post, she wrote, among other things, about Ms Yang’s entertainment contracts and endorsement deals.

She also baulked at being compared to Ms Yang, 23, in a June 25 article in the Chinese-language newspaper Lianhe Zaobao.

Ms Cheng has since removed this entry from her blog, but screenshots of it can still be found on the Internet.

Her blog gets about 50,000 hits daily while Ms Yang’s gets 30,000.

Ms Cheng said yesterday that the day after she wrote the post, both bloggers’ managers spoke over the phone on the matter. Ms Cheng is signed up with an entertainment agency and Ms Yang with a modelling agency.

She said she was ‘surprised and quite shocked’ to receive the lawyer’s letter.

The simmering discord between them can be traced back to November 2006. The two were compared in an online forum’s ‘hottest bloggers’ ranking, and have been making comments about each other on their blogs since.

Most of the other popular bloggers interviewed dismissed their spat as ‘entertainment’.

Mr Benjamin Lee, also known as Mr Miyagi, said the dispute ‘probably enhanced both parties’ site traffic and attention, which is what the blogging business is about’.

Polytechnic student Esther Chia, 18, who blogs as Ice Angel, concurred.

She was involved in a ‘flameball’ – or virtual mudslinging – with Ms Cheng last year over comments the latter made about her looks and dress sense. The episode boosted Ms Chia’s blog readership from 1,000 to 4,000 hits a day.

‘As long as she doesn’t criticise my character, I won’t be seriously offended,’ said Ms Chia.

Law undergraduate and co-editor of The Online Citizen website, Mr Choo Zheng Xi, said that defamation is an ‘occupational hazard’ for anyone blogging about society and popular culture.

He said that the tussle would at least remind other bloggers to be careful about any personal accusations they wish to make.

He also hoped that more bloggers will be ‘more focused on issues and less on people and personality’.

debyong@sph.com.sg

Source: Straits Times Interactive, http://www.straitstimes.com/News/Home/Story/STIStory_259485.html

Article extracted on 20th July 2008



Reader's Comments

  1. fupper | July 20th, 2008 at 10:40 pm

    Yes, they are the reigning bloggers, or whatever they are known to be.
    But no, they do not deserve such a big front page news(or you can call it indirect advertisement) on Sunday Times for themselves over a personal feud.
    Personally i was quite pissed when i saw them occupying such a large page on the front page. What was Sunday Times thinking?
    That definitely wasn’t that news worthy for an award winning newspaper.

  2. Dave Lucas | July 20th, 2008 at 11:38 pm

    Delightful post! Consider this comment a “trackback” as well!

    http://dave-lucas.blogspot.com/2008/07/around-blogosphere-20-july-08.html

  3. fabrikade's blog :: meet the bitter stickgirl : fabrikade, wear.i.am | graphic apparels + merchandises | July 21st, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    […] across The Bitter Stickgirl blog via Simply Jean’s blog post on the ongoing feud between Xiaxue and Dawn Yang. Stickgirl is happy enough to sit at one corner, enjoying her bucketful of popcorn while the two […]

  4. James | July 23rd, 2008 at 11:18 am

    I am trying my best not to side with any one of them. However, I don’t understand the logic.

    So, what is the main reason with regards to Dawn sending a lawyer’s letter to Xiaxue? There must be a main reason, be it logical or purely fantasy. The obvious reason is definitely Xiaxue’s comments about Dawn in her blog but what is/are the main reason(s) ? Well, on one particular Singapore forum, there is a thread dedicated to one of the bloggers. Thing is, why don’t she send lawyers’ letters to the people who has contributed actively at the thread? They have before and after pictures too. If I am not wrong, the comments that Xiaxue put in her blog about Dawn were already commented by so many others from various places in Singapore. So, why Xiaxue ?

    Many people have said that Xiaxue’s very straightforward in her blog but is she ? Can anybody in Singapore guarantee that life is always a bed of roses? Nobody can because life is definitely not always a bed of roses. Of course, one can find ways and means to make their life better but at what cost ? We cannot comment about how one decide to make their life better using whatever ways and means possible.

    If one decided to be in the limelight, one should understand that there are ups and downs. There are fan mails and there are hate mails. There is always 2 sides to a coin. If one decides to only receive fan mails and not hate mails or negative comments on their blog, they should learn how to rectify it and not delete it. By deleting negative comments, what is one telling one’s readers ? Do understand that positive and negative comments contribute to one’s blog’s hits. There is one saying, if you can’t beat them, join them.

    What is a blog ? To my understanding, a blog is where people blog about stuff. When readers read a blog, they will decide if its the truth or not. If they believe then its the truth, if they don’t believe then its a lie. If A blogged that B is ugly, B then sued A because A blogged in A’s blog that B is ugly. I find that very horrifying. So, B sued A because what A blogged was the truth or B sued A because what A blogged was a lie ? If its a truth then B sued A because A was being truthful ? If its a lie then B sued A because A simply lied ? People living in Singapore sued one another because they lied ? Won’t that be very busy ? So, if I see a person I know, drinking in large amounts everyday, I should keep quiet. If I tell this person the truth about drinking so much, I will get sued by this person for being truthful ?

    If its a blog that we are talking about then as I have said, readers of the blog can choose to perceive what they read as the truth or as a lie. Suing somebody about what you read and perceive as the truth, don’t you think its a little far fetched ? Suing somebody about what you read and perceive as a lie, are you very free or very loaded ? So if you claimed that you are not free and not loaded but continued to sue the other party, what are you trying to tell your readers ? How many readers does anybody know who don’t want to know the truth or who don’t want to find out the truth after seeing pictures that were very inconsistent and irregular ? Inconsistent and irregular meaning to say that this picture might have a smaller jawline to yesterday’s picture or this picture might have a smaller chin to yesterday’s picture.

    Some of the readers perceived this saga as entertainment. I cannot rebuke that because its what readers perceived.

  5. Pimon | July 23rd, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    Congratulation! they both r more famous than before.

  6. kh | September 9th, 2008 at 1:12 am

    i believe Xiaxue is innocent… dawn yang is making up stories only… she knows that xiaxue is more popular than her! we will stick to Xiaxue..and wake up from your bloody idea.. Dawn yang!

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