Singapore Athletics makes police report over lewd graffiti in Zoom dialogue session

It is also launching internal probe after lewd graffiti disrupts Zoom dialogue session

A screenshot which has an obscene image blurred out. The unedited version appeared during Singapore Athletics' virtual townhall.
A screenshot which has an obscene image blurred out. The unedited version appeared during Singapore Athletics' virtual townhall.PHOTO COURTESY OF ST READER

Singapore Athletics (SA) has made a police report after an online dialogue session with members of the fraternity on Thursday was briefly interrupted by an unknown attendee who drew lewd graffiti on a shared screen.

In a media statement yesterday, Lien Choong Luen, who is president of the national track and field body, said: "We take this disruption seriously as it affected a session involving our athletics community.

"A big part of our mission is to be more inclusive and consultative, including sessions such as this.

"We hope to have more of such dialogues in the future in an open fashion, hence we have to send a strong message that such disruptive actions will not be taken lightly."

The incident took place during a Zoom townhall session SA had organised for athletes, their parents and coaches, to introduce SA's new management team and secretariat staff and their plans for the sport.

Local media were also invited to sit in on the session.

Technical details for those hoping to earn a nomination for next year's SEA Games in Vietnam, such as benchmarks and potential qualifying competitions, were also shared.

However, before the virtual townhall started, a crude image which resembled male genitalia was drawn on the screen.

After the meeting administrators took down the image and attempted to address "housekeeping issues", a second image was drawn, before it too was removed.

Today reported that pornography was also displayed briefly.

It is understood the suspected perpetrator was later ejected from the meeting.​

2Times lewd graffiti was projected on screen during the Singapore Athletics' online dialogue session on Thursday.

Veteran sprints coach Margaret Oh, 60, was among the attendees.

The former national athlete, a mother of two daughters, said: "My immediate reaction when seeing that was wondering who was the idiot that was doing it… I think it was just someone playing punk."

However, she added she felt the incident was "not really a big matter" and said that she felt counselling would suffice if it turns out the offender is a young person.

Lien said SA would also conduct its own internal investigations to try and identify the individuals responsible for the act, and would hand over any information it gathers to the authorities.

"We sincerely apologise to all attendees for the disruption, particularly given its offensive nature.

"In future, be assured we will exercise the utmost control over our online meetings," he added.

Lien and his nine-person slate were voted in as SA's leadership for the next two years on Sept 25.

He told The Straits Times that meeting administrators had taken "a less restrictive approach (to the Zoom settings) as we wanted to have a more smooth interaction", but he also promised SA would "take greater note of these protective settings" in future.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 07, 2020, with the headline 'SA lodges police report'. Print Edition | Subscribe