A chat group and spreadsheet that gave Singapore’s women a place to share stories about problematic men disappeared almost as quickly as it surfaced under pressure by those worried it could be used unfairly.
Koh Boon Ki, 22, the small time social media influencer behind the idea, said she did not expect the response it got, which led to a Telegram channel and shared spreadsheet naming and shaming various men. What was meant to help her find Mr. Right led to a lot of wrong assumptions, and now she regrets not putting more thought into its potential to “name and shame” and has pulled the plug.
“After creating the group chat, I wanted to make sure that the group chat was a safe space for girls to share their experiences so I manually verified every single person before adding them into the group chat, and while I was doing that I didn’t put enough consideration into setting boundaries and rules within the chat to moderate the discussion and I did not realize that it was also spiraling into a name and shame group,” she said last night in a TikTok video.
Both the channel, which had drawn about 100 members, and Google sheet were no longer available today.
Koh had proposed the idea Saturday via TikTok, saying that she was “done finding out the red flags” about men on her own.
“Just tell me all i should know before i even start talking to him. I cannot keep having the same conversations!! Time to be smarter about this. Lets save everybody some time!!” she wrote in a call to action quickly taken up by others.
Apparently Singapore’s women have a lot of sordid stories to share. The spreadsheet that was created quickly drew a list of men’s names and their bad habits such as cheating, gaslighting, and toxic behavior. It also saw entries about serious crimes such as sexual assault, “filming girls having sex without consent,” and extortion. Koh said that some of the details saddened her, and she hoped that the authorities were involved involving sexual assault.
It recalled the early days of the #MeToo movement when women looking to end the silence that perpetuates abusive behavior shared their experiences in online databases only to find it raised further ethical questions.
“The document is very incriminating and I do regret its existence,” she said of the sheet. “I have since asked the creator of the google sheet to delete the document.”
That was after criticism poured in over the spreadsheet – mainly from men. They called it a bad idea, defamatory and likely to draw false accusations.
“There will be lots of defamation and false accusation, and the victim probably won’t be able to protect themselves from all this,” TikTok user Lukeyychamp said.
“Some of the guys might have changed? The group won’t be able to show that,” someone named Tristan said.
While the spreadsheet was short-lived, the idea has gotten the attention of netizens in neighboring Indonesia and Malaysia, where the Telegram channel “Dating Blacklist MY” has drawn more than 400 members.
“The fact that people already made this unavailable is stupid. You idiots should treat women better, not save criminals,” Malaysia Twitter user Offlinemi said.
“It’s a good idea if not misused,” Mewthology tweeted from Indonesia. “It’s difficult because everyone can make an input. [It is] prone to false accusations based on personal sentiments / hurt from irresponsible parties (not necessarily just girls, it could be fellow guys who have personal grudges too, anyone).”