Getting animated about Total Defence
New pillar of digital defence inspires young animators to express their thoughts about Total Defence
The introduction of digital defence - Singapore's sixth and most recent pillar of Total Defence - has not just raised Singaporeans' awareness of their role in cyber security, it has also provided inspiration for the works submitted to N.E.mation! 2020.
The theme for the annual digital animation competition for students and youth to express their thoughts about Total Defence is Together We Keep Singapore Strong. The competition is now in its 14th year.
The winning clips from both categories will be determined by a panel of judges and the public. The public can vote for the various clips online from Jan 18 to Feb 9 at www.sweetspot.straitstimes.com/nemation.
National Technological University's (NTU) Team Basement - comprising Ms Heather Ann Abeyasekera, 23, Ms Fatin Suhailah Sahaban 22, Ms Chen Ming Yue, 20, and Andronicus Koshy, 23 - is among the top 10 finalists in the youth category.
Its 30-second animation clip, titled Set A Light In Yourselves, illustrates how everyone has a part to play in keeping the Internet safe and welcoming.
Ms Fatin told The New Paper: "It is a subject that is close to us since we use technology every day.
However, it is still important to reach everyone, including the elderly, who can be more vulnerable to digital issues such as believing or spreading false information and defamatory speech."
The clip was inspired by how people were reacting "strongly" to local YouTuber Preeti Nair's rap video response to the "brownface" e-payment advertisement controversy earlier this year.
Ms Abeyasekera said: "We want to tell viewers that they should calm down and look past their initial fiery reactions, so that they are able to solve the problem at its root and interact with one another harmoniously."
Ms Chen added: "(Our video) also talks about the spread of false information and how we have to be more careful and discerning.
"Fake news is definitely more prevalent than it was in the past, due to many uncertified sources online, as well as people finding it easier to spread false information due to the rise of technology."
The.tater.tots, a contender among the top 10 from the student category, echoes this sentiment.
The group consists of Katriel Lee, Shew Xuan Tong, Venice Toh and Lydia Teo, all 13-year-old students from CHIJ St Nicholas Girls' School.
They were spurred to take part in this year's N.E.mation! after hearing about it from their seniors in school.
Katriel said: "We were inspired that students our age could make an impact on the public by spreading the message on digital defence."
Their clip, Damn Strong!!!, tells the story of Sally, a girl who overcomes a virus in the cyberverse with the help of friends Speedy, Stronghold and Digi by creating a strong password.
Venice added: "We hope that through our video, viewers of all ages and generations will learn that protecting themselves and their personal information in the online world is important."