On that Emmtann and Donovan Choy thing

It has been an unpleasant morning for a particular young lady, to say the least.

Han Solo

When the post popped up on my feed, 3 of my friends had already shared it. Before we go into this, here’s the post in full.

In case it’s too long, here’s a quick summary:

Donovan runs satire site Durian Daily, Emily is a beauty influencer.

Emily puts up an #OOTD Instagram post, and talks about the plight of animals in the Indonesian forests that are burning. Donovan believes this to be armchair activism and comments on her post. His comment gets deleted, so he takes the comment to Facebook and it goes viral.

There’s just one problem…

What Emily Tan says and does on Instagram is one slice of her entire life. 

Online Life

Therefore, the demand that has been put on her by this other human being is based on an incomplete reference point. The way he publicly tore her down was also needless, and uncalled for. It damages everyone, not just his intended target. It’s very clear that he’s an intelligent human being, what’s not clear is the true intent behind this act.

With his level of intelligence, he could have very easily reached out to her and worked on a collaboration to bring awareness to the issues at hand. In this case: The wildlife dying from Indonesian forest fires. Heck, they could have even raised funds for the cause if they really wanted to. Instead, this degenerated into something unproductive and damaging, all for getting an opinion across.

So sure, he’s made his point, but the cost was heavy.

Is this always the Endgame?

The reason why I’m talking about this is because there has been a pattern of destructive endgames occurring on blogs this week. This isn’t the only incident that happened. The real issue is not whether someone is right or wrong.


The real question is: how is it that we agree with tearing someone else down because we don’t agree with their stance in life?

What’s worse, he’s brought out an online mob with pitchforks and barbed words. His move has become more than just doing justice for society, it’s turned into a mass online assault.

So before you share, just ask: What if that was you?

mma-nicki-9 (1)

Doesn’t look as good, does it?


  1. Lina says:

    You’re missing the point.

    Doesn’t matter what she does in real life. Look at her first sentence – “If only people would use social media more effectively”

    Her use of social media includes flaunting her looks and making use of it to promote brands that are willing to pay for that service i.e. the typical “social media influencer”.

    Do you see her using social media to support the “plight of animals in the Indonesian forests that are burning down”? What about for any other charitable causes? Nope.

    It’s like a Ferrari driver saying “All these rich people should use their money for more charitable things instead of buying sports cars!” It doesn’t matter if he/she has a bicycle at home because the hypocrisy is right there staring at you.

    Suggest that you think and digest Donovan’s chim english before writing next time thx.

    • Hello Lina,

      I believe I got his point. I recognise his (and consequently your) state of indignance. However, my focus has never been on whether supporting either side.
      Instead, I’m focusing on a viable solution, an alternative to this unproductive fray that has resulted in his statements.

      As for thinking and digesting his post, I have done so thrice. The phrase you’re looking for is “high level of English”, and not “chim english”. Please mind the capitalisation on the way out.


  2. Jennifer says:

    Like her, he is just raising awareness about the unhealthy materialistic pursuits young girls have. the image she chose to portray of herself does say something about her – garnering more likes and ‘fans’ with her looks and ootds.

    • Hello Jennifer.
      It is interesting, then, that the way he raised awareness about unhealthy materialistic pursuits is by picking on one human being and insulting her online. It’s not just odd, it’s also unkind.
      What I wrote is, therefore, simply an alternative solution. One that brokers a productive co-operative, not a face-off.
      I’m sure as TWO influencers with that many friends, they could turn this into a win.


  3. Law says:

    You’re too naive to think about collaboration would work in this instance. Most influencers do not care about CSR unless it gets them the publicity. Would Emily be known if Donovan didn’t blow that up? Improbable. What Donovan did was an necessary evil: To force influencers think hard on how they could bring awareness than superficial good deeds.

    • Let’s take a look at what you said logically.
      Premise (or conclusion?): “Most Influencers do not care about CSR unless it gets them publicity”
      Your premise, without any substantiating fact, is simply an assertion.

      Second: “Would Emily be known if Donovan didn’t blow that up? Improbable.”
      Except the truth is that Emily was already known by a specific audience before Donovan picked on her. If we wanted to expand on that line of logic, then Donovan picking on Emily was what got him better-known, mostly Because Durian Daily was not remotely popular when he did so.
      Finally: Donovan did not force Influencers to think hard about anything. What he did was slag on someone, because he thought her shallow.

      Again, I hold true to the central message of my post: Collaborate, and lift each other up. Clarify, before going after each other.

      Law, you clearly have the smarts to grapple with some of the issues. but making that initial assumption probably didn’t do your case much good.

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