Wednesday, 17 January 2018


It's a pity I don't read Chinese but based upon this translation of a Sin Chew article on Malaysian Chinese News, it looks like it is on the same page with me as far as social media and the future of journalism (or the lack thereof) is concerned.

There are many who know social media on their smartphones backward but don't even know how to use a manual typewriter.

Also, social media sites have now tweaked their algorithms to determine which free speech gets more exposure and which gets less.

Without further ado - the Sin Chew article on Malaysian Chinese News.

Yours trully


We are all hijacked by the social media

5-6 minutes

Nowadays those working in sales are actually working for google or Facebook.

This statement is not exaggerated but is true only with minor adjustments for printed or social media. In fact all these media are working or serving the two global technology giants.

This is especially true for those working under the news media. They are trapped in the dilemma of to use or not to use the social media to promote and spread their news.

If they use the social media to disseminate their news, it is like providing free news content which has already been edited carefully by their team of news worker like reporters, editors and others. If they do not use the social media, their scope of news readers is definitely reduced and eventually readers may abandon or forget about them. In another perspective whether the printed media use or not to use the social media, in a matter of time they will become obsolete too.

This is a big challenge faced by the media.

Many people assume by giving ‘likes’ on the posts in Facebook, we are praising the media or the writer. Actually they are doing a good deed by helping Facebook to collect better returns on their advertisements as well as getting feedbacks to gauge the mode of reading of their account holders. It does not help those media or writers who have worked very hard to collect and verify the truth of their news.

Social media giants like Facebook uses the technology of computing the communication and calculating the posting frequencies of their account holders to understand and manipulate the users’ behaviour in order to make their advertisements to be more effective and consumer orientated. That is the reason for the many surprising and striking commercial advertisements seen on the social media. Have you noticed whenever you switch on the hand phone, some advertisements on various products will appear on the pages you click on?

The information and contents on the social media are not “free”. In fact it is manipulated, designed and planned meticulously by individuals or organizations. When one enjoys the freedom of speech by reading all kinds of gutter information on the social network, the parties behind the scene which reap the most benefits are Facebook or Google.

Can you recall a few years ago, some political parties and their supporters mounted a cyberwar on the social media? Yes, we could never imagine now that the Facebook page was so opened several years ago. At that time they only used various contents related to ‘animal farms’ and violent bloodshed topics to attract readers. They could also post you various political information that they wanted you to receive, remembered and influenced by it.

At that time the political supporters were very emotional. After a   few more political instigating talks, they started attacking the newspaper, television and radio stations. They instigated the public to believe the information and data provided by them on the social media in order to acquire political mileage and strength.

What is the outcome now?

The so called freedom of speech of  has been changed in the algorithm. Even if users ‘like’ the Facebook page of the political cyber troopers, the postings might not appear every time in the users’ Facebook as of previously. Facebook also changes the rule of the game as there are no more free messages even though the posts were liked by others before. In order to allow others to access to the content on that particular post, one must pay for the advertising cost too. Is this called the freedom of speech initiated by the political party?

It is best to ignore these loud-mouthed politicians. What worries me most is that many people are pessimistic about the future of the media industry. Even the mass media or communication graduates regarded Facebook as a media tool anyone can use without any professionalism needed.

Now we know and are aware of the consequences why posting on the website may be fake, irresponsible and unaccountable. A lot of unwanted and unreliable contents are flooding the social media. Recently the founder of Facebook remarked on the seriousness of this problem and announced Facebook will take measures related to gutter media.

It is too late as the high quality of reading materials on the market has already deteriorated and soon professional news workers will be very scarce.

It is time for us to ponder how to free our minds in future.

No comments:

Post a Comment