Students challenge to draw the line on STOMP

The Ping Ming Productions, founded by two Nanyang Technological University students, produced a video to challenge the ongoing debate on where to draw the line on the Straits Times platform, STOMP.

The producers of the video say that while STOMP is an undeniably innovative creation of Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) to advocate for the freedom of speech, some critics argue that netizens might have been abusing it with trivial and unimportant issues rather than discussion worthy ones. As contributors bring up issues concerning the private lives of individuals on STOMP, intention of such contributors seem to be self-serving: to satisfy their need for gossips and to obtain the 50 dollars voucher that Stomp awards to contributors. Such voyeurism behaviour sparks the contentious issue on whether an individual’s rights to privacy and freedom of action has been violated.

Ping Ming Production has taken this issue to be portrayed in a different light by exaggerating the behaviours of ‘Stompers’ in the video.

The producers added that the carefully scripted line in the video indirectly implies that ‘Stompers’ have been putting forward unimportant issues. A few examples that is given in the video, are “the weather is so hot, I’m going to Stomp it, the grass is so green, I will Stomp it, and the sky is so blue, Stomp!”.

These are indeed extremely trivial issues that obviously should not attract public attention, but from the eyes of the dissidents of Stomp, this is what Stompers have been doing.

TOC speaks with the two producers of the video and hear from the thoughts from them about the video and issues surrounding STOMP.

What made you two to produce the video? Was there something that sparked off this or is this made as a school project?

We are passionate about making stories that relate to Singaporeans, to make them laugh and at the same time appreciate things that make Singapore what it is. The idea of this video came about because there has been quite a lot of talk on taking down Stomp recently. There has been a lot of negativity about Stomp and we thought why not make something humorous out of it. We like to see the brighter side of things.

Have you heard of the petition to close down STOMP, and if you had,  what do you think of the petition? 

Yes, we have. We do not have any particular sides that we want to take. We do see the justification behind the petition because some issues and stories being shared on STOMP violates an individual’s right to privacy and they do not necessarily contribute to the betterment of society as a whole. However, this is a delicate issue as it is heavily intertwined with the issue of freedom of speech and press. Taking STOMP down defeats the purpose of working towards that ideal. 

What positive change would you like to see in STOMP?

Perhaps it’s incumbent upon society to practice more discretion when contributing materials and subsequently reading and participating in discussions. STOMP could perhaps include more positive materials too instead of highlighting on the wrongdoings of the public.

Will you be producing more of such videos?

Yes. We enjoy what we are doing: identifying interesting issues and shining a positive light on them. We will continuing doing this and see where it brings us.

The producers of the video hope that it will serve as a wake up call to the site’s voyeuristic behaviour and call out to citizens to practice media literacy and critical thinking while reading materials to Stomp. 

Do check out their channel and Facebook page for their other videos too:​