Skip to main content

The tweets of his death have been greatly exaggerated

Rumours of the death of Singapore's first Prime Minister days prior to Singapore's National Day were easily quashed when Mr Lee Kuan Yew appeared on "live" national TV attending the National Day Parade.

The Twitter rumour mill even got one journalist's mother calling her up to confirm the news. 

Wrote Eileen Yu of ZDNet
Lee, according to the Twitter rumor mill, had died earlier this week.
His supposedly death was a trending topic on Monday but went so viral on Wednesday even my mum called her reporter-daughter to check if Lee was indeed dead.
The rumors varied. One claimed he was brain-dead, while another alleged he was already dead and the country's national papers were instructed to hold back the news until after Singapore's birthday celebrations.
The Twitter community is out with a vengeance and is now trying to identify who started this rumour.

Though this wouldn't be classified as mass hysteria, this incident easily how a online rumour on a particular social network can literally turned into a literal word of mouth spread.

The medium too cannot be blamed for such a spread. Even in 1938, the American radio drama "War of the Worlds" created national wide panic with its "news bulletin" style format.

From that Wikipedia page, even when a radio host tried to calm his audience by saying " "The world is not coming to an end. Trust me. When have I ever lied to you?", some of the audience accused him of covering up the incident.

Tessa Wong, a journalist at The Straits Times, tweeted that a fellow journalist will be meeting Mr Lee but that didn't seem to calm the masses either.

Everybody was waiting for an official announcement from the Prime Minister's Office, but the best announcement came from the "live" presence of Mr Lee at the National Day Parade.

However, as the generation look at Tweets and social networks for news, it is more than important now that the related government agency should look at how to counter such rumours in future. Not by censoring or by punishment, but by being open and transparent source of information on social networks.

As such, the government could make use of the Twitter community to do what they do best, retweet the right information. 

Comments

Anonymous said…
Surely the government has better things to do with its time than address every random rumour that comes up, especially one as ridiculous as this. Shouldn't it be up to the people spreading the rumours to provide evidence, not the people being talked about?
Aaron Koh said…
As much as this Twitter rumour is ridiculous, even the journalist's mother called to check on the real issue at hand.

The biggest problem is that those spreading rumours, or those believe in the rumours do not evidence to believe if the rumours are true.

When social networks become mainstream to a generation, it becomes the medium that the government must be prepared for.

Popular posts from this blog

Why is Ramly Burger banned in Singapore?

Yahoo Singapore ran an article of the Ramly Burger by highlighting that it is ban in Singapore.

Yet, the writer from Makansutra failed to address the most important issue of why the Ramly meat patty is banned in Singapore.

A search online easily did highlight that the famous Malaysian meat patty is banned by the AVA but didn't go into details.

Wrote Arlina Arshad for The Straits Times in January 2004,

"But the importing of beef and beef products from Malaysia is not permitted, said theAgri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA).

Selling and supplying them without a permit is also an offence, and offenders can befined as much as $50,000 or jailed two years, or both, said the AVA."

In May of the same year, another article highlighted that a man was even charged in court for "smuggling" the Ramly burger in 2004.


"The AVA said that meat products processed in Malaysian food factories which it had notapproved were banned here.Suzali was yesterday jailed for four month…

Social Media 101: How To Be The Most Hated Person In Singapore Instantly

It is amazing how we are quick to forget that a single wrong comment on social media can make one the most hated person in Singapore.

Back in 2012, we had Amy Cheong. Her comments on Facebook about a Malay wedding under her HDB void deck resulted in an online CSI that cost her her job.

Fast forward to 2017 and we have Thomas Chua Poh Heng and whose name will forever live in Internet infamy.



Thomas reposted a video of the funeral of a Traffic Policeman who died while on duty. Thomas then commented that his death was well deserve as Thomas was once given a traffic ticket by the same Traffic Policeman.

Even the Home Minister for Singapore, who is responsible for the Police Force, was offended by Thomas' statement.



The screenshot showed that post was marked global by the Globe image next to the Singapore tag which could hint that this post was meant for all to see. As such, the argument of a "private"post does not hold any weight here.

Just as expected, after this post was s…

Google Post Now Available for Google My Business

Google Post, which was previously available for the US Elections in 2016, is now available for all small business who have registered their business with Google My Business.

Google Post allow you to put small snippets about a promotion, event, or show case new products,etc.

Take my company's Google My Business layout above. If you Google "NetGain Systems", you will see the NetGain Systems Pte Lte Google Business Profile. Below the profile is the Google Post of our free IT monitoring software.

According to Search Engine Land,

Google says this give businesses the ability to:

Share daily specials or current promotions that encourage new and existing customers to take advantage of your offers.
Promote events and tell customers about upcoming happenings at your location.
Showcase your top products and highlight new arrivals.
Choose one of the available options to connect with your customers directly from your Google listing: give them a one-click path to make a reservation, sign …