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Sell with care

Perverts are taking advantage of women selling clothes by getting them to send revealing photos of themselves

Do you frequently sell clothes on online marketplaces like Carousell?

Here's a piece of advice: Be sceptical when it comes to seemingly innocent requests from buyers or risk being the victim of perverts. A cautionary tale is making its rounds on social media.

A female user hawking a blouse was asked by another user to model the garment. Her suspicions, however, were aroused when the would-be buyer, who had registered the account with a female username and profile picture, kept insisting on more pictures.

The final straw, the seller said, was when the buyer asked for a photo of her in just her undergarments to "compare body types".

Another victim, who declined to be named, told The Sunday Times that her friend had found a photo of her in a bikini on a local forum.


The Internet was out to "ruin" the celebrated bard last week with thousands of contributors mangling Shakespearean quotes under the hashtag #RuinShakespeare. PHOTOS: JIM BEAVER/TWITTER, @OONAGH/ TWITTER, GARY FOSS/TWITTER

The Internet was out to "ruin" the celebrated bard last week with thousands of contributors mangling Shakespearean quotes under the hashtag #Ruin Shakespeare.

The Internet was out to "ruin" the celebrated bard last week with thousands of contributors mangling Shakespearean quotes under the hashtag #Ruin Shakespeare.

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"I was shocked," said the 24-year-old. "I thought the photos I sent over were tastefully taken and would help the buyer come to a decision. But the comments in the forum made me feel sick."

A quick check showed that such complaints have turned up in forums and alternative sites in the past, but seem to be popping up more frequently as more people shop online.

These perverts typically prey on women selling undergarments or swimwear. Many of them apparently also share such photos in online communities.

And needless to say, since there is a strong chance such compromising photos might one day find their way online, it's better to be safe than sorry.

TO THINE OWN SELFIE BE TRUE

You might recognise this line - "Now is the winter of our discontent" - from William Shakespeare's popular play Richard III.

But how about this: "Now is the winter of our discount tents"?

It is one of the quips floated on the Twittersphere as part of the #RuinShakespeare hashtag that originated from US comedy show Midnight.

"Give every man thy ear, but few thy Wi-Fi password," joked Twitter user Gary Foss.

And from another user: "I'll draw a sketch of thee. What kind of pencil shall I use? 2B or not 2B?"

The humorous mangling of the beloved bard's words has gone viral, garnering thousands of contributions in a few days.

Some Twitter users also poked fun at the convoluted twists and turns in Britain's politics recently.

Referencing a controversial speech by United Kingdom Independence Party leader Nigel Farage, social media user Okeating tweeted: "Friends, Romans, countrymen! You've never done a proper job in your lives..."

SOCIAL MEDIA IDENTIFICATION, PLEASE

Imagine getting asked to disclose your social media accounts each time you enter a foreign country.

This measure could soon be a reality for those travelling to the United States.

In a bid to battle terrorism, the US federal government is reportedly proposing to ask visitors under the Visa Waiver programme, which allows some nationalities to stay up to 90 days without a visa, to voluntarily give up their social media information.

The US authorities say passwords would not be needed.

"Collecting social media data will enhance the existing investigative process," says the Customs and Border Protection agency, according to the New York Times.

While the need for additional security amid deadly terror attacks is understandable, observers have spoken out against the move.

First and foremost, they say, a serious attacker would not likely post details about an impending attack on his or her Facebook page, at least not information that is available to the public.

Second, creating fake profiles for the express use of fooling the authorities seems an easy enough task.

Lastly, would this not be an invasion of privacy?

To be sure, the balance between protection and privacy is a delicate one. But one can easily see where things could go wrong.

Already, one US politician has called the so-called "half-measure" lame, and is lobbying to make the screening mandatory, reported the New York Times.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 03, 2016, with the headline 'Sell with care'. Print Edition | Subscribe