Arts & Entertainment

Angkas Apologizes for Tweet that Netizens Called Out as 'Crass'

“Our social media team has always been playful and funny and we love them for that.”
IMAGE WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
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“Angkas is like sex. It’s scary the first time pero masarap ulit-ulitin,” read the tweet from Angkas, the popular ride-hailing app that uses motorbikes. Below this, a short, but equally crude plug followed: “New user? Use promo code ANGKASARIWA on your first 2 rides.”

The tweet was posted on Angas’ Twitter account on July 30, 2019 at 4:14 a.m. Among the first to react to the post was the Philippine National Police, who said that it was "unacceptable." Other people agreed, finding the tweet distasteful and crass.

Netizens’ Reactions

Leading the negative reactions on the Angkas tweet was the Philippine National Police.

Others wondered whether the tweet was just another marketing ploy.

Others hinted on a rape-y vibe.

Still, others, expressed utter disgust.

After drawing heavy flak on social media, Angkas took down the tweet and issued an apology on the morning of August 1. Read its full statement below:

Dear Friends and Partners of Angkas,

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Here in Angkas, we tell it like it is. But precisely because of that, we must admit that we made a misstep today. We would like to emphasize that making our riders feel uncomfortable is the last thing we want to do. For this, we sincerely apologize.

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Safety has always been our brand’s priority, and we apologize for how our recent Tweet has made users feel unsafe and cast doubt on the integrity of our service. Words and analogies are meant to help us connect with our audience, but in this case, we’ve missed the mark. We take full responsibility for this misstep.

Our social media team has always been playful and funny and we love them for that. The message that they wanted to convey was simple: Angkas is a service you can trust once you've tried it. If nothing else, our 99.997% safety record is a testament to the quality of our service. We would also like to take this opportunity apologize to our Angkas bikers. As this incident has, through no fault of their own, cast them in an unfair light. Our biker-partners have been trained to respect their riders and make them as comfortable as possible. And no tweet can change that fact. They are qualified professionals who are just working hard to make a decent living for themselves and their families.

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Having said this, we would like the public to know that while we believe sex should be discussed maturely and openly, our treatment of it through this Tweet was far from desirable. Sex should never be used to create shame, fear, or disgust, and certainly not used lightly for the sake of some buzz. Again, we sincerely apologize for this, and would like to reassure everyone that we are committed to the safety of our passengers, above all else.

Sincerely,

Angeline Tham

CEO

On its social media accounts, Angkas is known for its witty remarks and muses about current events and relationship advice, which people usually find funny.

Ironically, last week, Grab found itself in similar hot water for publishing a suggestive post about Gerald Anderson’s exes. In its Twitter post, Grab shared photos of Julia Barretto, Maja Salvador, Pia Wurtzbach, Bea Alonzo, Sarah Geronimo, and Kim Chiu, with the text:

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Walang kailangang maiwan, walang kailangang masaktan. Sa Grab 6-seater, pwedeng magsabay-sabay.” As soon as it was posted, Grab found itself in a maelstrom of furious comments.

Trying Hard to be Witty

Angkas should realize it doesn’t need to try so hard to post timely, intelligent quips. The problem with Angkas' post was that it was neither timely nor intelligent. It wasn't even funny. It was a terrible comment that blew up in its face.

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Mario Alvaro Limos
Features Editor, Esquire Philippines
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