I write this to the masses, STOMP, and our soldiers, in the hope to encourage the public to think twice before taking out their smart phone and snap a unnecessary picture of an uniformed personnel. *I actually held my horses on this post until recently another joker decided to grab another picture of a NS man sitting in the MRT, saying he did not give up his seat for an elderly woman when in that the picture was cropped not showing the empty priority seat.*
Very rarely I would put in my emotions into my writing, but I think this time I would make an exception. This comes after I came across, where else but STOMP, an innocent uniformed personnel having his picture taken whilst waiting to cross the road. The originator, Gideon, snapped the picture after spotting his trousers end came loose from his garter belt, and uploaded it to STOMP. Thankfully, most Singaporeans commented on the trivial matter and some suggested the post to be taken down. Not long after, what fueled my momentum to post this up was this post here on STOMP again.
In the modern social media and age of citizen journalism, it is easy for virtually every one to flick out their smart phones, capture a picture and submitting to STOMP. For some reason, these ‘whistle-blowers’ seems to have a sense of instant gratification and their egos stroked by posting things up online, but in fact some of these contents are simply trivial and senseless. Being trigger happy and posting things like that only shows their immaturity. In the case above, many commented if the originator takes pride in the uniform, he would have gotten up to the soldier and point out the loose trousers to him, instead of starting a fire and flaming it himself. Some posts are plain unreasonably vacant up there, I once saw a contribution questioning why a uniformed personnel is sitting in the train, and another asked why are they eating at a hawker centre.
Again, I will not go about saying these NS guy deserve better, although a fact, because they are defending the country. But all these senseless targeting of uniformed personnel are counter productive.
Of course some actions need to be flagged out, but please have some self censorship. While your post get flamed by netizens, STOMP is happily sitting by watching clicks grow. Your overdose of righteousness will cause trouble and sometimes misery. And please look around you, do not jump into assumption by taking the picture out of context. In the case of MRT guy, it made a fool out of the contributor and STOMP.
Please moderate your content, no doubt your KPI is number of clicks and viewership and hope to get advertisers to fund the site, but some of the site content is simply trash. I understand that Straits Times aims to provide readers with the most accurate information, but altering and cropping picture to remove the empty priority seat in the name of creating hype and increasing readership is simply despicable and unprofessional as a media channel. Promoting and approving shallow posts mentioned above shows which level are you at as well. As a professional media outlet, please make use of citizen journalism responsibly, not to fan outrage against our own soldiers. Thankfully a number of readers are able to filter right from trashy posts.
It is time for you to wake up your idea and rethink your rules of engagement.
To my fellow uniformed friends,
Please protect yourself. You don a sacred piece of outfit called the uniform and interestingly it is a target for ‘paparazzi’ and attention clamoring Stompers. Up your antenna have have some situational awareness, take note of your turn out, the people around you etc. As if life isnt hard enough in camp, it gets tougher as you don the uniform outside. I do know people who are so afraid of these ‘Stompers’ that they would rather change before stepping out of their camp to head home. Do not let them stomp your confidence, as long you are doing the right thing, the people is behind you.