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Singaporeans Are Watching You

Straits Times Online Mobile Print -  StompNo matter the country, most people the world over seem fascinated with the rich, the famous, and the beautiful (talent optional). The masses never seem to get enough “news” on their favorite celebrity. And thanks to human nature, the most marketable stories, photos, and videos of these famous few always seem to be “the dirt.” What’s that you say, an unfair or unjust character assessment? No such thing. Not anymore.

In the United States, the popularity of this business model has reached such a crescendo that now the wild success of websites devoted to such (TMZ, Gawker, etc.) have even spawned TV shows.

A twist to this comes from Singapore, however… where it’s not only celebrities that are on display for amusement, it could easily be you.

The infamous site Stomp loves dirt—more specifically, your dirt—and is fed almost a nonstop diet of it thanks to user-submitted photos and videos. (Videos being either the most entertaining or detrimental depending on whether you’re the one who had the misfortune of getting caught on tape.)

“Stompers” (called “netizens” elsewhere) are on constant lookout for that pesky individual misbehaving or being unruly. If you happen to be a foreigner or an expat, then that’s all the better because if there’s a certainty in this world it’s that Singaporeans can’t pass up good food, or the chance to complain about foreigners and expats.

Encouraging users to hunt for dirt on people ends up being a slightly muted version of photographers paid to chase down actors and actresses. But even then, the desire to witness something “bad” and capture it on film sometimes proves too strong for some… and so drama is oftentimes manufactured, as it’s a much quicker and easier way to (perceived) “success.”

This has happened more than a few times recently. And while some Singaporeans seem none too happy about it, voicing their disapproval via an online petition, it appears here to stay for now.

So pay heed and mind yourself while in Singapore… else you might just make the front page.