With the power of the internet, netizens are now capable of finding the identities of anyone online, as long as they have enough information. Recently, these ‘online detectives’ have put their powers to use and exposed a Singaporean woman’s YouTube channel.
Why this lady in particular? Well, the 57-year-old went viral last week after she filmed and accused a group of strangers on a train of harassing her. It turns out, her entire YouTube channel, called “Beow Tan” is dedicated to videos like these.
On 26th April, a tweet was published, showing screenshots of the woman’s YouTube channel. Her videos were about non-Chinese people allegedly harassing her. Most of her video titles claimed she was harassed by either Malays or Indians. Apparently, there were two videos which did not specify the ethnicity of her supposed harassers. One video showed a group of children loitering, while the other showed her confronting a team of project developers near her apartment. Her latest video, uploaded two weeks ago, was titled “Malay Man Attempted To Molest Chinese Woman”. It had the highest engagement with over 75,000 views.
In her videos, Tan could be seen filming others without their knowledge and consent. In some videos, she would directly confront the strangers and accuse them of harassing her. None of the videos capture the alleged harassments, and only show non-Chinese individuals going about their day in Singapore. In one video, Tan labeled a man taking an escalator about 3m from her as a harasser. Twitter users were baffled and angered by her accusations. Some also wondered about her mental health.
People took to scouring the videos for answers about her behaviour. In the description of a video uploaded on 14th May 2019, Tan wrote, “People ask why I am always filming Malays. That is because these Malays are always trying to come near me.” Tan also revealed that she was a student from Hwa Chong Junior College and a university graduate from Canada. “So, the man I am looking to marry has to be of higher educational or professional level,” Tan said. Netizens have since dubbed her as the “Hwa Chong lady”.
Tan once mentioned that she was coerced into marrying her neighbour’s son. She also justified herself, saying she is nice to minorities because she once donated SGD50 (RM154) to an Indian. Twitter users suspected her heart has been broken before, given her fixation on people trying to marry her. In another video description, she wrote, “To the Malay guy stalking me, I don’t know you and I don’t think I am your type. I am sorry. All my friends hang out with people who are of the same educational background as they are. I am not being elitist. This is human nature!”
Last Wednesday, Tan was seen filming passengers on a train and asking them about their race and education. Aside from boasting about her own education, Tan also claimed her relatives and friends were lawyers, directors and board chairmen. As a result of Tan’s filming last Wednesday, she was reported to the police. The police merely confirmed that “a 57-year-old woman is currently assisting with investigations.” However, they did not elaborate.
Tan was also discovered to be a registered estate agent and her employer was contacted for a statement. “We take the professional conduct of our associates very seriously,” the company said. “Please allow us to investigate into the matter.” Aside from that, YouTube has cracked down on her channel by terminating it. A YouTube spokesperson informed the media that it was terminated for violating policies that prohibit harassment on YouTube.
Twitter has been a mixed bag of reactions. Some are calling for justice, while others are joking about meeting her in person. Either way, we’re just happy her channel has been shut down.