Monica Lewinsky was ‘patient zero’ of online bullying, TED conference hears

Monica Lewinsky has delivered a powerful speech about the devastating effects of online harassment, describing herself as “patient zero” of cyberbullying  and pleading for more compassion on the internet.
Shanghai night field

In a rare public appearance, at a TED conference in Canada, the woman who will forever be remembered for her time as a White House intern described how her 1998 affair with then-United States president Bill Clinton erupted on a global scale overnight.

The now 41-year-old said not a day went by that she wasn’t reminded of the affair she had as a 22-year-old, a mistake she regretted “deeply”.

But she said coverage of the scandal occurred at a time when digital media was emerging, and led to an international public shaming that at the time was unprecedented.

Now, with the saturation coverage of digital and social media, it was becoming all too common for people to become the victim of cyberbullying, which could have devastating consequences.

Ms Lewinsky told the conference she “was patient zero, of losing a personal reputation on a global scale almost instantaneously”.

“At the age of 22, I fell in love with my boss. At the age of 24, I learned the devastating consequences,” Ms Lewinsky said at the TED conference, held in Vancouver on Thursday, local time.

“Now I admit I made mistakes – especially wearing that beret – but the attention and judgment that I received, not the story, but that I personally received, was unprecedented.

“In 1998, I lost my reputation and my dignity … I lost my sense of self.

“When this happened to me, 17 years ago, there was no name for it. Now we call it cyberbullying,” she said. “It was the first time traditional news was usurped by the internet, a click that reverberated around the whole world.”

Ms Lewinsky, who has rarely spoken publicly since the scandal emerged 17 years ago, said she found herself being attacked online by people she did not know.

“The public humiliation was excruciating. Life was almost unbearable,” she said. “I was branded as a tramp, tart, slut, whore, bimbo and of course ‘That woman’. I was seen by many, but known by few.”

She also pointed to recent scandals, including the nude photo leaks involving Jennifer Lawrence and the Sony hacking scandal.

“Public humiliation is a commodity and shame is an industry,” she said. “And what is the currency? Clicks.”

The suicide of 18-year-old Tyler Clementi, a US college student who killed himself a day after other students secretly streamed footage of him kissing another man, had also prompted her to speak out in an attempt to help others deal with the pressure, she said.

What saved her at the time, Ms Lewinsky said, was compassion shown by family, friends and sometimes even strangers.

She called for a “cultural revolution”, away from the “culture of humiliation” and towards an internet community of empathy and compassion.

“Anyone who is suffering from shame and public humiliation needs to know one thing: you can survive it. I know it’s hard. It may not be painless, quick or easy, but you can insist on a different ending to your story,” she said.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Malcolm Fraser dead: Condolence book

Death announced: Malcolm Fraser. Photo: Brendon ThorneMalcolm Fraser diesObituary: a towering figureLeave your tributes belowMalcolm Fraser: Full coverage
Shanghai night field

Former prime minister Malcolm Fraser has died at the age of 84.

Mr Fraser was prime minister of Australia and leader of the Liberal Party from 1975 to 1983.

He was Australia’s 22nd prime minister, taking the job in events so dramatic they still reverberate decades on.

Mr Fraser was prolific on social media in his later years, taking to Twitter with gusto.

Following is a selection of tweets from among the thousands paying tribute to him. though many disagreed with him at different times #MalcolmFraser was a man of conviction & compassion who gave much to public life – vale. — Simon Birmingham (@Birmo) March 19, 2015 Those who recall the manner of his election discouragingly should remember Malcolm as a liberal on issues of race and human rights. #auspol — Philip Ruddock (@philipruddockmp) March 19, 2015 So sad to hear about the death of Malcolm Fraser. He’d become our wise Twitter granddad. I know that sounds silly, but it was the real deal. — Briony Kidd (@BrionyKidd) March 19, 2015 So sad to learn of the death of @MalcolmFraser12 who was such an advocate for displaced people. A voice of sanity in these idiotic times. — Monique Mayze (@moniquemayze) March 19, 2015 My younger self wld never have believed that I wld one day say this – am deeply sad to hear of passing of #MalcolmFraser our last statesman? — Magda Szubanski (@MagdaSzubanski) March 19, 2015 The last time I saw Malcolm Fraser, he bought me a double single malt, and chuckled when I protested that it was lunchtime. — Jess Gabriel (@ConstantStars) March 19, 2015

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Tony Abbott asked why he keeps saying ‘stupid things’ in fiery ABC interview

Tony Abbott has defended himself from the criticism he keeps saying ‘stupid things’. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen Tony Abbott has defended himself from the criticism he keeps saying ‘stupid things’. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
Shanghai night field

Tony Abbott has defended himself from the criticism he keeps saying ‘stupid things’. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Tony Abbott has defended himself from the criticism he keeps saying ‘stupid things’. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has denied being a bully when asked by an ABC radio host what credibility he has to front an anti-bullying conference.

Mr Abbott released a video addressed to the “boys and girls of Australia” telling them that as Prime Minister he is behind victims of bullying.

“There’s no place for bullying on the playground or on the internet,” Mr Abbott says in his pre-recorded video.

“If you are being bullied I want you to know that I’m behind you, your teachers are behind you and your family is behind you as well,” the Prime Minister said.

ABC local radio host Jon Faine interviewed Mr Abbott while the Prime Minister was on his way to an anti-bullying conference in Melbourne on Friday morning.

“What credibility do you have on bullying – you’ve been accused of it so often yourself?” Faine asked.

“Without foundation, I would say Jon,” Mr Abbott replied.

“This is where I think our country would benefit from a little bit more fair-mindedness.

“We are at the moment a somewhat querulous country and I think if we counted our blessings a little more, saw ourselves more in the way the rest of the world sees us, we might have a better public conversation, we might in the end have much more constructive debates.”

“You yourself admit you have an aggressive streak – isn’t that the core of bullying?” Faine insisted.

“Well I’m not so sure I have ever said that in so many words,” Mr Abbott responded.

“Obviously when I feel strongly about things I argue strongly for them but of the things I’ve always tried to do is give credit where it’s due,” he said.

Earlier in the often tetchy interview, the ABC radio host asked Mr Abbott why he kept on saying “stupid things” when he is a Rhodes scholar.

“Mr Abbott, for a Rhodes scholar, how come you say so many stupid things? ‘Lifestyle choices’ has enraged Aboriginal community leaders, and yesterday, bringing Goebbels into the Parliament?” Faine put to the Prime Minister.

“I withdrew and I apologised and I did it straight away, there was no hesitation. I accept that in the context of history and the way things have developed that was an over-the-top remark and I straight away withdrew and apologised,” Mr Abbott responded.

“But why do you have this foot in mouth disease, what’s going on?” Faine asked.

“All of us from time to time in the heat of debate, and you know how heated the Parliament can get, sometimes can go too far,” Mr Abbott said.

Mr Abbott’s comment sparked outrage when Jewish Labor MP Mark Dreyfus was kicked out of Parliament for protesting against the remark. Another Labor Jewish MP Michael Danby stormed out of the House in anger.

“At least 11 Labor members of parliament have made a similar reference including one of those who was outraged last night, namely Mark Dreyfus,” the Prime Minister noted.

Follow us on Twitter

Follow Latika Bourke on Facebook

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Sydney’s new furniture gets top rating from man who has slept on it

The expert: Ronny Ng poses on a new bench, part of the City of Sydney’s $3 million suite of city furniture. Photo: Joosep MartinsonSelf-described “survival artist” Ronny Ng is Sydney’s pre-eminent expert on the city’s best public seats and benches. After sleeping rough on Sydney’s streets for 17 years, he rates the city’s new modern furniture as close to perfect.
Shanghai night field

“It is a great idea, I can sleep on it,” he said.

He said the new bench’s sleek design meant he could lie down without an uncomfortable bar in the middle. The pared-down design of the arm rest meant he could stretch out: “I can put my feet through the hole.”

The new suite of city furniture is designed to encourage people to “explore and linger”. Costing about $3 million in total, it is part of a plan to encourage residents, workers and visitors to explore the city on foot, said Sydney’s Lord Mayor Clover Moore. “This is about making our city more accessible, and we hope the increased foot traffic will be a boon for local businesses,” she said.

The new suite includes bubblers, benches like the one where Mr Ng stopped to sit and roll a cigarette on Tuesday morning, a pedestrian light pole, three bollards, tree guards and grates, and bins.

Designed by Tzannes Associates, the pieces will be rolled out across Sydney as needed in new developments and as older furniture needs replacing. The company’s design director Alec Tzannes said the suite had been designed to reflect Sydney’s outdoor lifestyle.

“We wanted the pieces to have a real sense of casualness – we wanted to capture how people live in Sydney, how you can enjoy the city’s terrific climates and open public spaces,” he said.

When he lost his job as an advertising consultant, 60-year-old Mr Ng’s life unravelled. He lost his home soon after, and has since sat and slept on most of Sydney’s benches and chairs.

Another favourite spot of his is a bench in Hyde Park: “I like the trees. They gave me a lot of inner peace.” When anybody asked him about his sleeping arrangements, he said he always responded: “Just enough for one person”. One common problem is rolling off the bench, and landing on the ground.

Some of the new furniture was installed behind Town Hall on Kent Street a few months ago. It will be rolled out across Sydney as streets are upgraded or new infrastructure projects take place.

The replacement of existing furniture would be done on a case-by-case basis and in consultation with the city’s heritage experts.

“Much-loved or heritage pieces will be preserved,” said a spokesperson for the city. This included historic wooden benches on Glebe Point Road and the old cast iron bubblers, such as the ornate bubbler in Beare Park, Elizabeth Bay.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Five amazing things we’ve been promised ‘within five years’

A prototype of a Google driverless car: The company is building cars that don’t have steering wheels, accelerator pedals or brake pedals. Photo: suppliedThe head of Google’s self-driving car unit says his team is committed to getting autonomous vehicles on the road within five years. That’s a wildly ambitious goal, considering Google has a long list of technical, production, and-perhaps most difficult-regulatory roadblocks to overcome. Five years may seem like an arbitrary time frame to promise delivery of a controversial, unproven product, but it turns out to be a sweet spot for business leaders’ technology predictions. In the past year or so, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, and other tech executives have chosen five as the magic number of years for their big predictions to come to fruition. Sometimes these estimates do come true: Mobile carriers in the US are on track to deliver on President Obama’s five-year promise from 2011 to cover 98 per cent of Americans with high-speed wireless internet. Just don’t get your hopes too high. In 2001, Bill Gates told us we’d all be using Windows tablet PCs in five years. Another Microsoft exec, Nathan Myhrvold, predicted the five-year demise of Windows, starting in 1999. By next year, IBM should be bringing us mind-controlled computers. Good luck with that. Why five? When you consider that there were no iPads or mass-market electric cars five years ago, it shows how much can be accomplished in a half-decade. A cynic might say it’s because nobody will remember a crazy prediction five years from now. Five might be the favourite number among technologists (and, incidentally, Joseph Stalin), but it’s not the only measurement for prophecies. New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman frequently and infamously predicted during the height of the Iraq War that “the next six months” would be critical to determining success or failure. More recently, an Italian neuroscientist says it’ll be possible to transplant a head onto someone else’s body within two years. Senator Harry Reid predicts the Washington Redskins will change their name”within the next three years.” A NASA astronomer thinks we’ll find evidence of aliens within 20 years. A group of scientists predicts that a volcano could make Japan “extinct” within 100 years – or maybe the entire planet will face mass extinction, according to another group. Those are cheery thoughts. While this isn’t a comprehensive list – we haven’t forgotten about 5G, Star Wars holograms, a universal flu vaccine, or Myanmar’s first satellite launch, which will be no easy feat for one of Asia’s poorest countries – here are five of the most amazing (and horrifying) things we’re supposed to get within five years. 1. Google self-driving cars on the roadChris Urmson, the director of Google’s self-driving car project, gave a presentation at TED Talks on Tuesday, where he said the company is aiming to get its vehicles on the road within five years. Urmson has a personal reason for picking that deadline: His 11-year-old son will be eligible to get his driver’s license in about four and a half years. “My team and I are committed to making sure that doesn’t happen,” he said. Few people are as optimistic about the road to autonomous vehicles as Urmson. A director of General Motors’ self-driving car research lab at Carnegie Mellon University said they’ll be common within 15 years. An analyst at Morgan Stanley went with 2026. Musk, who’s not shy about making predictions, avoided nailing down a time frame for autonomous vehicles this week. The chief executive officer at Tesla Motors, which has been developing its own autopilot system, said on Tuesday that we’ll “take autonomous cars for granted” in a short period of time. 2. Netflix everywhere in the worldTed Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, told a UBS media conference in New York in December that the company would like its streaming service to “be completely global, available everywhere in the world” within five years. Netflix is currently available in 78 markets, mainly in the Western Hemisphere, and about to launch here in Australia. 3. Zuckerberg’s vision for a mostly video FacebookSmartphones are making it easier for people to shoot video, and the latest server tech is making it possible for Facebook to store and deliver more of it than ever before, Zuckerberg said in a public question-and-answer session in November. “Now, most of Facebook is photos,” the CEO said. “Five years ago, most of Facebook was text, and if you fast-forward five years, probably most of it is going to be video.” If it turns out to be anything like the Ice Bucket Challenge of last summer, we’ll go back to Friendster. 4. Musk’s killer robot nightmareThe Tesla and SpaceX CEO started sounding the alarms about the risks of artificial intelligence last year. Elon Musk joked at a Vanity Fair conference in October that an AI system designed to get rid of e-mail spam may determine that “the best way of getting rid of spam is getting rid of humans.” Then in November he penned a dystopian prediction on the website Edge上海龙凤419. “The risk of something seriously dangerous happening is in the five year timeframe. 10 years at most,” he wrote in a comment that has since been deleted. Musk, along with physicist Stephen Hawking and many researchers in the field, co-signed an open letter pushing for “maximizing the societal benefit of AI” to avoid a doomsday scenario 5. Amazon drone deliveryBezos announced Amazon上海龙凤419m’s delivery drone in December 2013, saying the company may start using them within five years, pending US Federal Aviation Administration approval. That’s turned out to be a big “if,” and a year later, Amazon told the FAA it may move drone testing outside of the US. On February 15 the government agency introduced a proposal to open the skies to unmanned flight. But the rules would prevent companies from flying the vehicles outside of the operator’s line of sight. That kind of eliminates the point of delivering packages via drone. Meanwhile, Alibaba has been flying drones over Beijing to deliver ginger tea. Bloomberg
Shanghai night field

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.