In a stunning display of just how crazy the internet can be, a screenshot has been circulating social media about the woman who was caught on CCTV trying to force her way into an MRT carriage after forcing her way through the closing platform doors.
The screenshot claimed that the woman was merely trying to get to her autistic sister. The thing is, no one really knows where this screenshot came from.
Before we get into that, here’s what happened:
A CCTV footage started to circulate the internet this week showing a woman blocking the platform door from closing and prying them open before squeezing through the space between the doors and the train. She then attempted to pry the train door open to force her way in. Some people rushed to her aid before the train doors fully opened, allowing her to enter the MRT.
The footage was posted on the All Singapore Stuff Facebook page on Tuesday, 27 August.
Channel NewsAsia reported that SBS Transit confirmed that the incident happened around 3:30 pm on Monday, 26 August at the Little India station.
SBS said that as the woman was struggling to open the train doors, a staff onboard activated an emergency device which enabled the doors to follow open and allow the women entry into the carriage.
There was no risk of the train moving off while the woman was struggling as safety design features ensured the train would stay still until both sets of doors were locked.
Why did she do it?
Here’s where it gets interesting. Though there doesn’t seem to be an official statement on why the woman behaved in such a way, a redditor on r/Singapore posted a screenshot of someone claiming to know the woman in the CCTV footage, saying that the woman was just trying to reach her autistic sister who has a history of wandering off and forgetting her way home.
The person in the screenshot said they shared this information to give context for the woman’s actions and so that people can ‘understand her motivations’.
Curiously, there was no source credited to this screenshot. In fact, the moderators of the r/Singapore have tagged the post as unverified. The user who posted the screenshot said they received it via Whatsapp and admitted that the information was not verifiable, and so agreed to the ‘unverified tag’.
Mothership.sg then reported a similar background story on 29 August, where someone claimed to have seen this exact same explanation floating around on Twitter.
Saw a post on Facebook. pic.twitter.com/Uf5DF6iUZj
— Elyza Rose (@Rose_Elyza) August 28, 2019
The Twitter user, in turn, said they found on Facebook. Though a search shows that the post is no longer on Facebook.
The original post. pic.twitter.com/F8n1bX3DSt
— Elyza Rose (@Rose_Elyza) August 28, 2019
The screenshots in all these social media posts are the same. But if you look closely at the screenshots, it’s clear from the format that it was taken from reddit. Twitter doesn’t have upvotes or downvotes, for a start. In fact, the Twitter screenshot is exactly the same as the reddit screenshot post on 29 August.
If you’re confused, so am I. Let’s lay it out.
Someone on reddit posted this explanation of the MRT incident (date unclear). The post is now nowhere on reddit, so it might have been deleted. On 29 August, a user on Facebook posted a screenshot of that explanation. Then someone shared that Facebook screenshot on Twitter which is what Mothership referred to in their article later on 29 August.
Separately, a reddit user shared the same reddit screenshot on the same day which they said they received via Whatsapp.
It comes full circle. An unverified statement starts on reddits, makes the rounds on different social media networks, ended up in a news article, and then back on reddit again where its validity is questioned.
Crazy internet, eh? A story posted online can take on a life of its own, perpetuated by the forces of internet users.
Anyway, a quick search of the reddit user listed in the screenshot showed no record of this user making that post. The last post the user made was 10 months ago while the last comment was 4 days ago. None of it related to this MRT incident.
Whether or not the post was made and later deleted, we don’t know. The point is, none of this is verifiable. All we know is what the CCTV footage shows and what SBS Transit has said. Everything else is up in the air.