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Sharp-eyed netizens, reckless selfie-takers

A Facebook user alleges that members of two political parties approached him in Tampines, and each slandered the other. A man from San Diego who tried to take a selfie with a rattlesnake ended up with a snake bite and a $210,000 medical bill. Mr Eric
Mr Eric Ong's Facebook posts on his brother's stolen car were shared among car enthusiasts online, leading to its eventual recovery.PHOTO: ERIC ONG/FACEBOOK
A Facebook user alleges that members of two political parties approached him in Tampines, and each slandered the other. A man from San Diego who tried to take a selfie with a rattlesnake ended up with a snake bite and a $210,000 medical bill. Mr Eric
The music clip about MediShield Life, featuring getai artists Wang Lei and Liu Ling Ling, has garnered more than 350,000 views on YouTube.PHOTO: YOUTUBE
A Facebook user alleges that members of two political parties approached him in Tampines, and each slandered the other. A man from San Diego who tried to take a selfie with a rattlesnake ended up with a snake bite and a $210,000 medical bill. Mr Eric
A Facebook user alleges that members of two political parties approached him in Tampines, and each slandered the other.PHOTO: ROMMEL TAN/FACEBOOK
The music clip about MediShield Life, featuring getai artists Wang Lei and Liu Ling Ling, has garnered more than 350,000 views on YouTube.
A man from San Diego who tried to take a selfie with a rattlesnake ended up with a snake bite and a $210,000 medical bill.PHOTO: KGTV/ABC 10NEWS

With nearly 2 billion users every day, social media is by far the biggest platform on which the world interacts in real time. Every week, The Sunday Times picks topics that have set social media alight.

While social media sleuths win the day, other individuals spark confusion and controversy

SOCIAL MEDIA SLEUTHING

The person who stole a Singapore-registered vehicle at a car wash in Johor Baru probably thought he had got away scot-free. And he would have too, were it not for the sharp eyes of netizens.

A public appeal was first posted on Facebook earlier last month by Mr Eric Ong, the brother of the car owner, with pictures of the alleged thief - a young man.

A video of the man using a credit card he allegedly stole from the car was also put up later.

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The posts, which were widely shared among car enthusiasts online, eventually led to a breakthrough - someone had identified the car although it now bore a difference licence plate.

After a dramatic chase and several false leads, the car was seen parked in front of a hotel in Malacca. A police report was made.

In their last post on the incident, Mr Ong updated that the car had been recovered.

JOURNEY TO GOOD HEALTH

Videos produced by the Government don't normally garner rave reviews, but this is one exception.

In this colourful music clip in Hokkien, the Monkey King and Spider Spirit - both from the Chinese classic, Journey To The West - traverse through the clouds, happily chatting about serious topics like bad health and hospital bills.

The characters are played by local getai artists Wang Lei and Liu Ling Ling.

The three-minute video about MediShield Life has become quite a hit, gathering more than 350,000 views on YouTube since it was uploaded last Monday.

WHO IS ROMMEL TAN?

Social media activity is heating up in the lead-up to the general election, and confusing reports online look set to be par for the course.

A Facebook user by the name of Rommel Tan alleged that representatives of two political parties - Singaporeans First (SingFirst) and the National Solidarity Party (NSP) - went up to him while he was having breakfast with his family in Tampines, and each slandered the other.

Mr Tan then praised a representative from the People's Action Party, who had apparently approached him later, for not disparaging the other parties.

So who exactly is Mr Rommel Tan? NSP's Mr Steve Chia, who was named in the initial post, said he had not met such a person, nor made negative comments about another party. "I don't think there (was) any PAP MP or minister yesterday at Tampines Street 81. You can draw your own conclusion from here," he later said.

CECIL THE LION

The hunter has become the hunted as public pressure mounts against an American dentist who shot dead a prized lion.

Cecil, a major tourist attraction and the subject of a scientific study, was killed earlier last month by Dr Walter Palmer using a bow and arrow and a rifle. The animal was skinned and beheaded.

The incident sparked a global outrage and many celebrities and conservationists took to social media to voice their disapproval.

Zimbabwe is now seeking to extradite Dr Palmer.

DANGEROUS SELFIES

Is taking a photo worth life and limb? A man from San Diego put his life in danger while attempting to take a selfie with a rattlesnake, which promptly bit him. Oh, and he was also saddled with a $210,000 medical bill.

Meanwhile, a mother and daughter duo tried to take a selfie with a bison at Yellowstone National Park several weeks ago. They managed to get the shot, but were flipped in the air by the bovine shortly after.

The danger has gone global. Russian police had earlier released a brochure advocating for people to take "safe selfies" in the wake of a spate of deaths by selfies. "A cool selfie can cost you your life," the pamphlet read.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 02, 2015, with the headline 'Sharp-eyed netizens, reckless selfie-takers'. Print Edition | Subscribe