Thursday, June 10, 2010

School tracks down a student just to ask her to remove her vulgar tweet

Just when you thought those old-fashioned discipline masters in your schools have no idea what is Twitter...

School tracks down student's vulgar tweet, tells her to remove it

SINGAPORE - Unhappy with her school's dress code, she whipped out her mobile phone, logged into her Twitter account, and tweeted a furious message, containing a vulgarity, criticising her school.

A few weeks later, the 20-something student got a call from her school. They had tracked her down and told her to remove the vulgar tweet.

MediaCorp is not naming the school at her request.

The student said she was shocked and impressed they actually bothered to track her down. Her Twitter account does not have her full name, so she thinks the school may have scrolled through previous tweets where she had talked about the course she was taking. And uncovered her identity.

Social media specialist Paul Charles, chief operating officer of Lewis PR, said a school going to such lengths to locate a student is saying: "We're not prepared to accept such criticism on social media".

Just like Paul Charles, I'm impressed and amazed by the length the school actually went to track down a teenager's tweets.

Apparently, though Twitter is not banned in Singapore (though I'm very sure the gahmen is very envious of China's Great Firewall, and very tempted), one does not have the freedom of just tweeting anything and everything. Now we know that besides the gahmen and statboards, you can't bad-mouth schools in this country as well.

So you might ask, if we're not allowed to rant even on the Internet, where else is safe? No, not the Speakers' Corner, you silly! Did you count the number of CCTVs installed there? These are the safe places where no elites, MPs and school discipline masters will step their precious foot on...
  • Adults (40s and above): non-airconditioned kopitiams

  • Adults (below 40s): clubs

  • Teenagers: fastfood restaurants

See! You do can use vulgarities after all! And with the vast number of kopitiams, clubs and fastfood restaurants in the country, who dare say there is no freedom of speech in Singapore! As long as you don't do it on the Social Media!


  1. just came across your blog. i disagree strongly with two phrases in your tag line, viz "efficiently productive" and "academically intelligent". the pple leading us are neither of these. if they were, they wldn't have overlooked providing more basics when adding to the population, resulting in a shortage of hospital beds, crammed trains, soaring prices of hdb flats and more; they wldn't expect innovativeness while maintaining an education structure which discourages thinking outside prescribed paths; etc etc. get my drift?

  2. Got you drift, but I don't think you got my joke.