Domestic helper films TikTok video of her bathing elderly man leading to outrage online in S'pore

The original video did not censor the man's face.

Ashley Tan | January 03, 2021, 12:28 PM

Various shenanigans and happenings posted to TikTok have attracted attention and backlash recently after they were circulated on other social media platforms.

Another TikTok video posted to Facebook appears to have drawn netizens' ire.

Lambasted by online commenters

In a video reposted to a Facebook group offering support for foreign domestic workers in Singapore and their employers, a woman believed to be a domestic helper, can be seen assisting an elderly man in a bathroom.

The camera appeared to have been set up by the woman before she started filming herself bathing the man, who is seated.

The woman looks directly at the camera several times.

In a repost of the same video to another Facebook group, the caption stated that the elderly man's face was not censored in the original TikTok video.

Screenshot from Amex Chua / FB

Numerous online commenters on Facebook lambasted the woman, with calls to share the video to another Facebook group for employers of foreign domestic workers, in the hopes that the woman's employer would be aware of the clip.

Others stated that the helper had "crossed [a] line" by posting such a scene on a public social media account and disrespecting the elderly man's privacy.

At the time of writing, the video seems to have been removed from the woman's TikTok account.

Domestic workers' mobile phone usage a grey area

The subject of domestic workers uploading snippets of themselves in their employers' homes to platforms like TikTok was previously touched on in CNA's Talking Point series.

A quick search by the host of the series, Diana Ser, found various accounts by domestic workers, which left Ser wondering if the uploaded clips — some of which included the employer's children — were taken without the employer's knowledge and permission.

This raises security and privacy issues, as the helpers could unwittingly be revealing information about the household and even its location.

Technology writer Paul Mah told CNA that such videos could attract scammers as well.

Currently, the Ministry of Manpower does not impose explicit rules on how employers should manage their domestic workers' mobile phone usage.

Instead, such areas of concern are left to the employer to lay down their own house rules.

Employers and domestic helpers that CNA spoke to explained that it was about the trust between both sides, and that communication is key when it comes to settling these grievances.

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Top photo from Amex Chua / FB