Video of violent stabbing in Singapore posted on Youtube
16, December, 2006 4 Comments
The hot news these two days is the video a woman being stabbed in the streets of Singapore being posted on Youtube. When I first saw the article, I thought it was another incident of happy slapping that was the sick fashion in the UK last year.
The difference is that in happy slapping, the criminals themselves film the act and then perversely upload it and share it with others. In this case, it was someone who was witness to the crime who filmed the incident. But it does make you wonder if that witness is any less guilty. Afterall, instead of calling the cops, he chose to film it. What makes it worse is that not only did he not come to the aid of the victim, he did not hand the film over to the cops to help them in their investigations.
The article stated: WHOEVER filmed this video, and posted it on the Web, knew the contents would be shocking, perhaps revolting.” The blogger Locksley in his online journal, even warned readers that the video would be pretty graphic!
Despite that forewarning or perhaps it was precisely because of that warning, the footage that lasts two minutes and 22 seconds showing Chinese National Zhu Jinfeng, 26, stabbing his ex-girlfriend, Ms Lou Yanwa, 24, on a pavement in Bukit Batok West Avenue 6 has been viewed multiple times. (According to the newspaper article, “as of Friday, it has had 10,000 viewers and the clip is still being circulated via email”.)
The incident happened on 24 August this year, so it’s strange that the video has only been posted recently, on Nov 28, by someone using the name “ramenory”. The criminal has been jailed and his victim is in recovery. One can only imagine how such a visual reminder of the traumatic episode can affect her healing process. She’d probably be enraged how someone could film the episode and yet not come to her aid!
Perhaps, “ramenory” had an educational purpose in posting the video. Some readers commented that the video was “unusual” and “thought-provoking” and made you question how safe Singapore streets are. Some even tried to use it as social commentary on Singaporeans, why did they not help (like the cameraman), why did they just gawk (like the cameraman, or wait, he didn’t just gawk, he actually had the presence of mind to film the event to educate Singaporeans on social responsibility! Gasp! He actually thught he was being a citizen journalist!) Hm…the shock factor is definitely there but surely there are other less sensational and less gruesome ways to educate the Singapore public.
According to lawyer Adrian Tan who specialises in intellectual property and information technology law, “the authorities can take action if online videos are found to be offensive or graphic in nature, because they can be classified as a “film” under the Films Act…[and] people who record videos and distribute them over the Internet are in effect distributing uncensored film. This could land them a fine of up to $40,000, or up to six months in prison.” This is cold comfort to Ms Lou indeed.
One can only hope that users of new technology and new media use the new powers afforded by the new media and technologies responsibly.