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Lessons everyone can learn from the Monica Baey NUS shower video incident

Lessons everyone can learn from the Monica Baey NUS shower video incident

Earlier this week, a National University of Singapore (NUS) undergraduate, Monica Baey has come forward as the girl who figures in a controversial shower video that was allegedly taken by a Nicholas Lim, said to be also a student at NUS, as exposed by Monica.

Just yesterday, NUS was quick to respond to Monica’s call for a stiffer punishment for the alleged perpetrator and issued an official statement saying it will convene a committee to review its disciplinary and support frameworks.

Things move much faster when there is media and public attentions. In light of the recent move by the Singapore Parliament to introduce an anti-doxxing law and a fake news law from April 1, 2019, there are lessons from this Monica Baey shower video incident which everyone can draw from.

1. Did Monica Baey commit doxxing?

We would all agree that Monica is a victim of a sex crime if the allegations against the said Nicholas Lim are true. However, Monica was the one who chose to reveal Nicholas Lim to the public on her Instagram account, including pictures of him and other personal information which will lead to him being identifiable by online vigilantes.

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As such, did she commit doxxing?

With the enactment of the anti-doxxing law, does it apply to victims of crimes who name their perpetrators?

2. If Monica Baey’s accusations turned out to false, would all the online sites and news media whom reported on her accusations be charged with the new fake news law? 

This is sometime we are extremely mindful and cautious about as we are one of the online sites reporting on Monica’s story. Having said that, we do believe in the integrity of the Singapore government and the Ministry of Law to apply the new fake news law only when they need to protect society from damage by online falsehoods created by “malicious actors”.

Of course, no news site has deliberate written any blatantly fake or fabricated stuff about the saga.

In this regard, there is clearly no malicious intent here to spread any online falsehoods. Nonetheless, this is a grey area which everyone could still be treading on thin ice.

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3. Should the police and the authorities at NUS bow to public pressure?

There is strong call online for NUS and the police to re-investigate the case and to review the punishment meted out to the said Nicholas Lim for his alleged crime.

The school and the police would have considered several factors before they first meted out the first set of punishments. When NUS said that they will be reviewing their decision again, would this be bowing to public pressure?

4. What are the avenues for social protection for vulnerable sex crime victims who chose to out themselves? 

While Monica Baey has her supporters, there are detractors as well who are shaming her online. She shared that her mental health has taken a toll after the incident.

Is there any form of social protection for vulnerable sex crime victims like her who chose to out themselves?

5. What form of redress do victims of leaked sex or nude videos or photos have? 

Monica was fortunate that her shower video was not leaked online. Unlike her, there were many whom were less fortunate like prominent influencer, Christabel Chua (aka Bellywellyjelly) who had her sex videos and photos leaked online by her boyfriend, Joal Ong.

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The problem with the Internet is that once these videos and photos are uploaded onto the dark web, it will be impossible to get rid of them. Just ask Edison Chen, the “father of leaked sex videos and photos”. If even someone with Edison’s clout and money can’t erase his leaked stuff, it is doubt anyone else will be able to.

As such, what form of redress do victims like Monica have?

These are some of the tricky questions which crossed our minds when we were covering Monica Baey’s story. We don’t have the answers, but we think that as a society, these are questions which we ought to think about after this incident.

What are your thoughts? Share them with us in the comments section.

About The Author

Staff Writer

Entertaining since 2017.

3 Comments

  1. Chua Yang En Isaac

    Redefine. That’s the only redress. Things happen in life, out of our control. Sometimes, people face powerful forces that no one can logically expect them to overcome. One form of systemic justice can only lead to another injustice. There is actually some pattern here, the most seasoned offenders actually know how to get themselves out of trouble/not mess with someone they can’t control.

    Everyone has been a victim of something before. The way out is to redefine the event from a reason for one’s impairment into part of one’s story of victory.

    Having said that, outliers are often the ones least protected systemically, people who want to adventure into unfrequented areas, be it the girl who jogs in a deserted park in the evening, or the guy who well… starts a business without any family support. I have always been drawn to the road less traveled, i guess its my nature, people we know blame us for doing dangerous things and getting hurt.

    1. Find a community that will support you and keep you grounded.
    2. Be true to yourself, don’t trade your vision away to the community.
    3. Constantly redefine your circumstances and grow your world through communication and negotiation with others.

    The strength to change the world lies in communities, but the strength of communities comes from every individual within.

    Reply
  2. Juliette

    A girl was violated in this incident, and you are more concerned whether she might be doxxing or not speaking the truth? Should not the lessons be telling people to not commit the act of violating someone’s privacy? How we can better ensure the law is enforced on perpetrators like Nicholas Lim? He clearly did not care about her privacy when he filmed her, so why should she be caring about leaking his name? I am really disappointed with the quality of this article, which attempts to frame itself as an insightful perspective on the incident but just ends up as another victim-shaming article.

    Reply
  3. Lhilim Blackwall

    I wish to commend the article for bringing out very interesting questions.

    1.
    I’ll admit I’ve not read up on the anti-doxxing laws but, if it does fit the category then yes she should be accountable.
    Essentially committing a crime in reaction to, in revenge of another crime unto oneself, does not make a society civil or stable.

    2.
    I believe, if the media or news were to be wrong then they need to make a correction and relay that with much more exposure to counter-act
    the exposure of news that were relayed based on lies of others. That way it could some what mitigate the damage already done.
    However your concern does raise important questions to light. “What if it was fake.” For example the #kickvic campaign, an entire host of online lies that smeared a voice actor to losing his job and basically nearly destroyed his life only started to turn around recently.

    If anything, laws definitely need to be present to prevent such things locally or in some way deal with such situations with reasonable repercussions.

    I do wish to point out;
    “The problem with the Internet is that once these videos and photos are uploaded onto the dark web”
    This particular statement, seems a little off, are the videos and photos specifically uploaded to the dark web, by what sources or do you simply mean “the web” because it feels like you do. The dark web, or the dark net, is an entirely separate entity that is while online and similar to the internet, serves in and of itself an entirely different and sometimes far more illegal purpose.

    Reply

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