Under the nondescript name “SG Nasi Lemak,” a chat group with over 40,000 members was reportedly sharing nude photos of unknowing women. The issue has gone viral in Singaporean social media, where people have reported seeing pictures of their friends.
The chat group is found in the messaging app Telegram, which allows users to keep their phone numbers private.
On Friday, Oct. 4, the Singapore police said in a statement that reports have been filed against the group chat and that an investigation is ongoing, CNA reported.
The chat was also used to share photos of clothed women in public, offer sexual services, and sell vapes and sexual enhancement drugs. Vaping is banned in Singapore.
The group chat is no longer accessible.
Various Twitter users have shared screenshots allegedly taken from the chat group before it was deleted.
Some even said that they found photos of themselves in the group. Twitter user @DarcelAnastasia posted a screenshot of the chat that shows what she said is a photo of her and asked if anyone knew the guy who sent it.
In the statement from Friday, police said they “would like to advise members of the public that the circulation of obscene materials is an offence under Section 292 of the Penal Code” and that "anyone who transmits by electronic means any obscene materials may be liable to a jail term of up to three months, or fine, or both.”
While some people defended the group and said that it was the same thing as porn, Twitter user @_nadyyah_ responded by saying that it is not the same because performers consent to being in porn, whereas the girls in the group did not know that their nude photos were being shared.
Others blamed wider societal issues in Singapore.
“If the SG nasi lemak incident proves anything, its that we need to revamp our entire sex education curriculum. Teaching abstinence isn't sufficient enough to deal with issues like this. We need to talk about boundaries and consent,” said @vishan393.
Since SG Nasi Lemak came to the forefront of national media, Telegram users have exposed other similar groups on Telegram.
Twitter user @eliciayeoxq posted about two other groups and tagged Singapore Police. One is what appears to be a new SG Nasi Lemak group, while another one called “SG XMM” shows users sharing clothed photos of women and discussing them with sexually explicit language. The Twitter user said that they were “mostly underaged girls.”
This comes as Singapore put in force a Fake News Law on Wednesday, Oct. 2, that allows the government to read private group chats and order social media organisations to edit or remove content deemed a “falsehood.”