Young woman seated on MRT train shoots TikTok video to accuse man of secretly filming her

She didn't have solid evidence but said her experience shouldn't be invalidated and she has gone to the police.

Belmont Lay | Lee Wei Lin | April 26, 2022, 04:48 AM

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A young woman in Singapore has taken to TikTok to call out a male commuter on the MRT train for allegedly positioning his mobile phone in between his legs with its camera lens facing outwards in what appeared to be an attempt to capture footage of the person seated across him.

Video accusing man of being voyeur sparks debate

The woman's video, shot from her point of view as she was seated directly across the man she is accusing of being a voyeur, has sparked heated discussion and controversy on the platform.

This was after the woman insisted she wanted to highlight the peculiar nature of the man's actions for others to evaluate if what he was doing was a cause for concern, even though she did not offer solid proof to show her viewers that the man did what she was accusing him of doing.

In response to the woman's claims and the nature of the footage she uploaded, comments on the video ran the gauntlet from those who support her unconditionally for speaking out as a victim, to others on the other end of the spectrum who accused her of being the voyeur instead and damaging the reputation of a fellow commuter.

What happened

The TikToker, who uses the @rachieeeex handle and refers to herself as Rach, wrote in her April 14 video's caption:

watch till the end ‼️ this guy had filmed me from botanic gardens to bukit panjang mrt and i hope people like you rot in hell and get the punishment you deserve . stay safe everyone

Her video clearly showed the man positioning his phone in front of his crotch, and also included a screenshot of his face.

@rachieeeexwatch till the end ‼️ this guy had filmed me from botanic gardens to bukit panjang mrt and i hope people like you rot in hell and get the punishment you deserve . stay safe everyone πŸ€ β™¬ original sound - 𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐑 🦭

He was seen dressed in the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) uniform, but his name on the uniform was not visible.

Moreover, based on the clip the woman uploaded, the man appeared to be using his bag to cover his chest.

At one point, the video captured the man looking directly into her camera, which indicated he might have been aware that he was being filmed by the woman.

Other than these shots, the video did not show the man actively filming the woman.

This was noted by many who watched the video.

The woman also did not mention the approximate duration the man kept the phone at its awkward position to supposedly film her.

Difficult to judge what man was doing

Comments in response to the video pointed out that it wouldn't be fair to judge the man based on the TikToker's account alone, and that the 17-second video was not enough to prove that he was filming her or engaged in voyeurism:

Another commenter brought up a previous incident, where another TikTok user apologised for falsely accusing a man of ogling her at the gym, when he could have very well been watching a programme on the television set positioned above her at that time.

However, Rach claimed in the comments section on the day her first TikTok video was put up that she had already made a police report regarding the incident, but did not provide video proof that she did.

TikToker issues clarification

In a subsequent video posted on April 22, more than a week after the first video appeared, Rach said:

I just want to clarify that I had no intention of posting these to get attention or fame. I just wanted to raise awareness for people out there that... You are not alone if you have experienced this before. And that it's more common than you think it is.

Not even just in Singapore but like the whole entire world, and it may not just happen to guys, I mean girls, but it may happen to guys too. And I just want to say that these incidents not only happen to me but to other people too. (They) shouldn't be taken so lightly and that it should be taken more seriously because it does affect our mental health a lot and you shouldn't invalidate other people's feelings because you don't know what they are feeling like.

@rachieeeexmore clarification abt the incident i posted .♬ original sound - 𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐑 🦭

More details emerge

In the second video, she added that she boarded the train at Botanic Gardens MRT station while she was on her way to school.

After finding a seat, she noticed that the man in the video sat down opposite her.

She then saw a "black thing in between his legs" and alleged that it was a phone that was "flipped over" and that its camera was pointing towards her.

However, it was in this second video that Rach offered a new claim: She said she saw herself in the reflection of the man's mobile phone screen on the MRT train's window, which confirmed her suspicion that he was recording her.

She alleged:

That was when I realised that he was taking pictures or videos or whatever of me, and at that point of time when I realised, I was in shock because I have never expected this type of incident to happen to me. At least, I thought that I would actually go up and confront him, but I was too scared to do anything. I was just like, frozen.

She added that she took the video of the man as evidence for the police.

And why I filmed him was because at that point of time I was only thinking about getting evidence for the police and I was holding my phone like this while using the zoom out camera mode.

Mothership's attempts to contact Rach went unanswered.

Commenters' other responses

Even though the man's actions did appear strange, some of the commenters on Rach's first video have come out to defend it as the man's way of making sure he does not lose his mobile phone should he lose his grip if he falls asleep while holding it.

However, owing to the nature of the TikTok platform and the lack of obvious cues if those commenting were behaving as trolls, it is not entirely clear if such responses were even made in good faith as a proper defence of the man, or meant to derail the discussion by making others turn on and debunk the woman by constantly putting forth moot points.

Overall, the number of commenters who are commiserating with Rach and offering her advice, such as encouraging her to leave the matter to the authorities to deal with it, outstrip those who are complaining that the video and her claims were one-sided, and that she is wrongly accusing a fellow commuter without even letting him defend himself.

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Top collage screenshots from @rachieeeex on TikTok.