Singaporeans’ reaction on social media to recent gang assaults

November 11th, 2010 | by Chan Chi-Loong

As an ex-PR ex-journalist who has made a living telling stories for the better part of my working life, social media has opened my eyes to new ways of telling stories.

It is such a powerful force for collecting and aggregating data. Rather than taking the news from one source, you get to hear from a sea of sources.

For example, I was just monitoring the twitter social media reaction to the recent 369 gang violence in Singapore, where seven people were slashed in Bukit Panjang and sent to the hospital two days ago. Just barely a week and half before that another teen was murdered by the same gang at Pasir Ris.

If I were to describe the tonality of the 300-odd posts on twitter since yesterday, I would say they were mostly angry, tinged with a little fear.

There are three general themes that emerged:

Are we safe in Singapore?

The first reaction is about safety. There is a significant amount of posts lamenting about Singapore’s safety and checking up on friends and family, esp. in the Bukit Panjang area. On Twitter alone there are more than 70 of such posts.

Examples:
Wth why now so many slashings in sg . Read abt the bukit panjang one. 7 ppl slashed by 369. Siao Liao la everyone please be careful .
TerenceThen

Slashing case at bukit panjang now. Wtff, singapore is getting unsafee! Really unsafeeeeee.
SriAtiqaah

Who are these stupid hooligans?

Then there are the Singaporeans who are angry at these idiots and wondering why the hell this is happening in Singapore. Over 40 such posts.

Examples:
What is wrong w the youths in Singapore today? Downtown East 23 youths arrested, Bukit Panjang 6 youths, all between 15-23yrs old? Why???
thamwaihoong

What is happening to SINGAPORE man??!!! Gang armed with parangs…going on slashing spree??? Downtown east murder not enough ar??
ItsBIGBANGyg

The Sing police must whack them jialat jialat

One last main theme is for our police to catch these folks and whack these idiots. Practically no one was sympathetic to the gangsters. There were also quite a few praises for our police, who nabbed several culprits yesterday afternoon.

Examples:
wow wow wow! 6 suspects caught for the bukit panjang one! And one more murderer caught! Not bad ah quite efficient.
ccliAlexis

Bukit panjang slashers arrested. HAHAHA not feelimg so cool now eh losers
NickytheKING

Other tidbits from the social media

Some other interesting facts I found out by reading the posts. You can learn lots simply by reading things that people say!

— “369” is now trending on twitter, and there’s hashtag #369 if you want to follow the conversations.

— There’s an up-to-date Wiki page on 369 “Salakau”

— The youngest kid involved in carrying out the gang attack is just 15. Sigh.

— A few super funny posts. Ironic humour at its best. Examples:

Ah beng: OI , YOU FROM 369? Me: No , I from 257. AH BENG: GOT THIS GANG MEH? Me: I tot you asking for my block number….* RUN*
StevenLiew

<3 RT @leecomet: @thesyueffect SYU YOU LIVE IN BUKIT PANJANG IF ANYONE ATTACK YOU CALL ME AH I WILL SNORLAX BODY SLAM THEM MOARRRRRRRRRRR!!
thesyueffect

These twitter posts were tracked using a combination of the keywords “Singapore”, “Bukit Panjang”, “369”, “gang” and “slashing” using JamiQ’s software.

Disclaimer: I work for JamiQ, a social media monitoring company doing business development. but I track these projects primarily for my own interest.

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4 Comments

  1. wendy says:

    very insightful, thanks for the summary!

  2. Chi-Loong says:

    @Ivan

    Hey thanks! Glad you like stories like this! 🙂

  3. Ivan Chew says:

    Nice round-up (pun not intended) of posts. I also liked what you shared about how social media has given new perspectives of telling stories. Come to think of it, I’ve not read much about the “story-telling” metaphor in social media. Yours is the first!

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