A video comparing shops in Singapore to those in China turned out to be a nightmare for a woman who was simply trying to create helpful content online.
Her post was picked up by independent news site Mothership, which inaccurately portrayed her as a “tourist from China”. This label, unfortunately, invited a slew of negative comments from netizens.
These comments ranged from calling her a clueless traveller to asking her to find her “female relatives” in Geylang.
Overwhelmed by the reactions, the woman is now seeking legal advice on the matter.
On Thursday (21 Sep), Lin Lin, a content creator who goes by @b.linling on TikTok, posted a lengthy rant about how she recently fell victim to cyberbullying.
@b.linling Because of false information, I’m getting accusations?!?!?! 因为假新闻，我被网暴了。 #tiktok #tiktoksg #fyp #新加坡 ♬ original sound – 林林拎不清
This came after Mothership posted an article titled ‘Tourist from China feels going to S’pore doesn’t feel like going abroad as Chinese brands galore’ on Tuesday (19 Sep).
The article was about a Xiaohongshu video Lin Lin had posted in June comparing stores in Singapore to those in China.
Lin Lin shared that she was initially excited when she heard that she was on the news. However, this soon spiralled into fear due to a combination of factual inaccuracies and insensitive comments by netizens.
In her video, she accused Mothership of “making up a false identity” for her. She pointed out that she had spent the last eight years in Singapore and is not a Chinese “tourist” as they initially wrote in their headline.
“Wow,” said the content creator while clapping sarcastically at Mothership’s narrative that she “felt regret and disappointment” at the stores she featured in her video.
Lin Lin also shared that some of the comments that the article garnered affected her quite badly.
Among them were comments asking her to return to China and accusing her of being a clueless tourist.
Some netizens even suggested that she knows the Geylang red-light district well as she “probably works there too”.
Lin Lin shared that she was stunned and in disbelief when she read the comments. She wondered how the author could’ve cracked such a “cold lie” despite having a body temperature of 37.5°C.
In addition to the “tourist” mischaracterisation, Lin Lin also disputed suggestions that she found Singapore boring, pointing out that she has posted several hundred guides about life here.
In light of the distressing experience, Lin Lin shot a DM to Mothership’s Facebook page requesting amendments. Initially, she claimed that they left her message on ‘read’.
She then also commented on Mothership’s Instagram post about the story but was allegedly met with silence too.
Lin Lin said that even though she didn’t get a response, she noticed that Mothership had stealthily made changes to the article’s headline, replacing the word “tourist” with “woman”.
In her view, this was a deliberate attempt at “causing controversy”.
Similar changes were also made to the Facebook copy of the article, as shown in the edit history.
Concluding the video, Lin Lin revealed that her private life and work have been severely affected by the coverage.
Choking back tears, she compared her situation to being trapped in a whirlpool while watching “public opinions spread like wildfire”.
She said that she could only resort to sharing her own side of the story in the comments, but even that felt like shouting in a vacuum.
Lin Lin also questioned if toying with “ordinary people” was Mothership’s way of deriving entertainment.
Ending her TikTok, Lin Lin sternly requested the news site to remove all “false content” about her and issue a public apology.
She also claimed that she had contacted a lawyer regarding the matter.
Subsequent checks by MS News found that the article now contains an editor’s note, stating that the earlier characterisation of Lin Lin as a “tourist” was wrong.
The news site declared that they had amended the article accordingly and extended an apology to the content creator.
Meanwhile, Mothership’s Instagram post featuring the article has been taken down at the time of writing.
Speaking to MS News, Lin Lin confirmed that she is currently in talks with Mothership but does not intend to issue a public statement.
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Featured image adapted from @b.linling on TikTok.
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