YouTube SG shuts channel of lady filming others on train for harassment violation

YouTube has terminated the Beow Tan YouTube channel for violating its harassment and cyberbullying policies. The channel is reportedly linked to a female who made headlines recently after she was caught in a video last week questioning passengers about their ethnicity while filming them at the same time.

YouTube's spokesperson told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE: "We have strict policies that prohibit harassment on YouTube, including content that maliciously insults someone based on their race, gender expression, or sexual orientation. We quickly remove content that violates these policies when flagged."

Before the channel was removed, MARKETING-INTERACTIVE found several videos titled "Malay harassing Chinese" and "Indian harassing Chinese". There was also a video titled "Malay man attempted to molest Chinese woman" and another titled "Indian sexually harassing 56-year-old Chinese lady". Some videos were filmed discreetly while others featured the woman directly confronting others. In one of the videos, for example, the woman had filmed a family having a discussion about peanut butter and labelled the video "Malays harassing Chinese". Most of the victims appeared to either be confused or uncomfortable and had attempted to avoid her.

Meanwhile, a warning on the Beow Tan YouTube channel reads: "This account has been terminated due to multiple or severe violations of YouTube's policy prohibiting content designed to harass, bully or threaten."

According to YouTube's harassment and cyberbullying policies, content that threatens individuals is not allowed on YouTube. It does not allow content that targets an individual with prolonged or malicious insults based on intrinsic attributes. The attributes include age, caste, ethnicity, nationality, race, religion, gender or physical traits.

YouTube enforces its policies based on the content uploaded to the platform, and does so consistently, regardless of who posts them or what their personal beliefs may be. In June 2019 and December 2019 respectively, it took a tougher stance on harassment by not only prohibiting explicit threats but also veiled or implied threats.

Beyond its policies, YouTube has also continued to invest in new solutions to address this issue, such as creating tools that allow people to manage comments on their own channels and working with creators who are helping tackle online hate by promoting awareness, tolerance and empathy. According to its Transparency Report, which details its video and content removals, YouTube removed 100,139 videos in Singapore between October to December last year.

Last Wednesday, a video of a woman questioning other commuters in the same cabin about their education while claiming that she is from Hwa Chong began circulating online. At one point, one of the commuters identified herself as Malay and the woman's response was: "Malay is it? Okay, no wonder." Enraged netizens have since called her out for being racist and according to The Straits Times, she is currently being investigated by the police.

Meanwhile, the term "Beow Tan" was one of the trending topics on Twitter at around 4 pm yesterday in Singapore and still is today, with 2,140 tweets at the time of writing. MARKETING-INTERACTIVE has reached out to Twitter for more information.