TL;DR – The blame game.
You have probably seen this video:
First, let us unequivocally say that we condemn the actions of those two people. We are absolutely appalled by the sense of entitlement of those two young people, the lack of respect for other people, and their inability to share. We can’t help but wonder whether they went through kindergarten. Because we are absolutely certain that we learnt how to share things with other people in kindergarten.
We understand if anyone felt some holy fire raging in them after watching the video. We felt it too. We did wish divine retribution upon those two people. So when someone appeared to identify the young lady in the video, we understand the strong urge to make that person notorious, and whack that person one time jialat jialat.
But if we did that, we would have been wrong. Terribly wrong. And irresponsibly hurt an innocent person. Why? Because the person that was identified actually wasn’t the person in the video. What happened?
Whistleblower blowing wrongly
We don’t know exactly how it started. But this is one of the comments that added to the raging fire:
Then subsequently someone went to pull up the Facebook page of a Ms Tan. Images of her started to get circulated around social media and various forums. And she apparently got messages from random people lambasting her for something she didn’t do.
It turns out that they were all wrong; here’s Ms Tan’s Facebook post.
UOB has also conducted their own investigations and released this:
Mobs are stupid. Don’t be stupid
Apparently, one reason that people used to conclude that Ms Tan was the lady involved in the incident was because the attire she and her boyfriend had on for the day was similar to the two people in the video. But if you stopped to think for a while, that alone really isn’t enough to conclude that Ms Tan was the lady in the video. Ms Tan’s friend put it best in this post:
Perhaps it was an honest mistake by Mr Ang. But his mistake has caused distress to Ms Tan. It brought out the mob with their pitchforks, swarming to condemn and harass Ms Tan, all in the name of seeking justice. We wonder whether Mr Ang would post an official apology.
Thankfully, no one took matters further into their own hands. But can you imagine if they did? Can you imagine if someone went to harass Cherry further? And when it turns out that she was innocent all the time, would Mr Ang and all those websites, Facebook pages, and people who wrongly flamed and harassed Ms Tan all apologise to her? Would they compensate her for the distress they caused her?
Probably not. Then where’s the justice? As much as it is wrong for what the couple in the video did, it’s also wrong to be a mob out for a witch hunt, flaming and harassing a completely innocent person. That’s like… Gascon and his mob of villagers in Beauty and the Beast. And mobs are terrible at dispensing justice. Because more often than not mobs are stupid and get it wrong.
Don’t so quick to believe what we see on the internet
Many things that appear on the internet are false. Or wrong. It would be great if we treated everything we see with a healthy dose of skepticism. And, especially in incidents like this, unless we are willing to do our own investigation to confirm the veracity of what we read, it’s better not to spread what we see on the internet.
Because we might end up hurting someone who’s absolutely innocent. Would you want that to happen to you or someone you care about? Probably not. So let’s not do unto others what we don’t want others to do unto us. We all have a part to play in making the internet better. Let’s refrain from irresponsible self-righteous behaviour masquerading as active citizenry. It’s not active citizenry. It’s just mob behaviour.
And the last thing we need in Singapore are stupid self-righteous mobs.
Meanwhile, the poor uncle’s daughter has spoken up.
– Editor’s Update –
The police has identified the couple and arrested them.