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A hidden camera show has tested the kindness of strangers, asking Singapore shoppers to help a poor tissue seller. While the cameras rolled in secret, members of the public were asked to complete a short survey, for which they received five Singapore dollars (about US$4). They were then approached by a man in a wheelchair, who asked them to buy a pack of tissues.

While some commentors on YouTube praised the heartwarming video, which claims that the majority of people chose to give the man the money, others expressed disappointment that some people ignored him and kept the cash for themselves. Some viewers also criticised the video itself, which promotes a contest open to those who spend over 20 dollars in the mall.

Some YouTube commentors objected to the suggestion that not buying tissues makes one heartless:

“I don’t think that just rejecting one request from an old man means having no heart…who knows they may be doing charity in other ways?”

While others were critical of the video itself, which is “brought to you by myVillage”, the mall where the “experiment” was carried out. One disappointed viewer wrote:

“This is obviously just an advertisement for a sale going on in Serangoon Gardens.”

The myVillage mall is offering a $10,000 prize to the person with the most compelling story for what they would do with the money. However, to enter the competition, shoppers are required to prove they have spent over $20 at the mall.

The makers of the video say that most people given the $5 opted to “pay it forward” and give their money to the tissue seller. Most tissue sellers in Singapore are out of work due to age or medical conditions, and many are disabled or amputees. Unlicensed hawking is illegal in Singapore, and a $120 annual license is required to sell tissues on the street, although only 11 such permits have been issued to tissue sellers since 2004.

▼Presenter Don Richmond approached shoppers in the shopping mall and gave them 5 dollars for completing a survey.

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▼ The “social experiment” claims to investigate how many people will give the money to a poor man who then approaches them selling tissues.

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▼ Many people ignored the man or refused to buy any tissues.

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▼ However, the video makers claim most people chose to give their money to the seller.

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▼ One participant even asked the interviewer to give the cash directly to the tissue seller, instead of her.

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Do those who refuse to buy from street peddlers lack compassion? What about the folks who simply didn’t want any tissues but still responded politely? How valuable are these kinds of social experiment? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!

Source: Yahoo! News Singapore
Screenshots: YouTube – ClickNetwork