Online Reactions To Death Of 6-Year-Old Boy Show Ugly Side Of Singaporean Netizens
A 6-year-old boy died on Thursday (24 May) after being pinned under an SMRT bus in Choa Chu Kang.
News of the incident was widely shared on Facebook, with many netizens offering their condolences to the victim’s family.
But a handful of netizens decided that it was time to be racist and misogynistic about the situation.
MustShareNews (MSNews) does not condone these comments at all – instead, we hope that by airing them, we can remind Singaporeans to be a bit more gracious on the Internet.
In a break from our usual practice, we will not be censoring usernames of those that made these comments.
1. Racist rants
The nationality or ethnicity of the victim was never officially released.
However, some netizens deduced that he was a Permanent Resident from India.
Based on this allegation, they made a number of unsavoury comments like this one:
We’re not sure what the relevance of his race/nationality is.
The next comment is even more appalling.
We’re glad that this commentor knows that he’s mental.
2. Misogyny makes an appearance
One netizen had an unusual response to Ms Margaret Teo, SMRT’s Vice-President for Corporate Communications.
Ms Teo had apologised for the incident, since an SMRT bus was involved.
User Soccerbetting2 saw it fit to discredit Ms Teo’s credentials as a seasoned communications professional – because she’s a woman.
In his own words, Ms Teo should be replaced with a “lower paid man”, implying that she is paid more because she’s a woman.
3. Irresponsible speculating
Few details have been released about the tragic accident and what led to it.
But that hasn’t stopped some netizens from assuming facts and giving their two cents about the situation.
This one assumed that the boy was riding an e-scooter on the road.
Initial reports did suggest that a personal mobility device but nowhere was it reported that the boy was riding it on the road.
And Ms Leow evidently knows all the facts of the case before the police:
This is how fake news starts – people find a keyword, make up stories and it spreads like wildfire.
Where do we go from here?
We’re not sure why moderators of the website in question didn’t bother to manage its comments section.
After all, spewing such racist vitriol is a chargeable offence.
They aren’t things people would dare to say in person, so why are they willing to behind a keyboard?
It’s probably because they assume they’ll never be caught, since they’ve “disguised” their identities.
But thank god for IP addresses and screenshots – they’ve come to the aid of justice before and we’re sure they will again.
Featured image from Charlie Lim’s Facebook.