Monday, 3 December 2018

FORMER PROMINENT BLOGGER JEFF OOI WARNS READERS TO BE DISCERNING ABOUT CONTENT ONLINE

Back in 2007 & 2008, blogging was the hip, hype and happening thing on the Malaysian cyberspace scene and Jeff Ooi was a political blogger with is blog Screenshots.

At the time, the talk in IT media circles was whether blogs would undermine mainstream media, whether bloggers can be regarded as professional journalists and so forth.

Jeff and fellow blogger Ahiruddin Attan (Rocky's Bru) became big heroes amongst Netizens back then when the New Straits Times Press, its deputy chairman Datuk Kalimullah Hassan, Group Editor-in-Chief Datuk Hishamuddin Aun and former Group Editor Brendan Pereira. filed a lawsuit in January 2007, alleging that an article which they wrote had accused Brendan Pereira of plagiarising an article by journalist Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press, as they were regarded as two "Davids" versus a "Goliath".

Jeff Ooi was a member of the Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia (Gerakan - Malaysian People's Movement) party which at the time was a component of the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, though shortly before Malaysia's 12th general elections on 8 March 2018, Jeff quit Gerakan and joined the opposition Democratic Action Party to contest against a candidate from his former party Gerakan for the Jelutong parliamentary seat in Penang.

Jeff announced his candidacy with a big bang at the Food Foundry cafe in Section 17, Petaling Jaya, amidst members of the media, the blogerati, Facebookerati and Twitterati. There was no WhatsApp back then or there would also have been the WhatsApperati present beam news of the event to smartphones all over (though there weren't as many smartphones around back then apart from Symbian and Windows Mobile based smartphones.

I told Jeff via a comment on Screenshots that he should get out of cyberspace and campaign face to face on the ground in Jelutong.

I later read that when Jeff went onto the ground in Jelutong, he discovered that hardly anybody knew of him, whilst those in the IT ivory tower, including members of the ICT media had hailed him as a "prominent blogger" (well within their small world, that is).

Soon after, I noticed Jeff's frequency of posting on Screenshots dropped dramatically.

When polling day came, Jeff won Jelutong with 67% of the vote versus the Gerakan candidate.

Obviously, Jeff had rolled up his sleeves, put on his walking shoes and pounded the streets of Jelutong, meeting and talking to people in realspace.

When Jeff attended his first parliamentary session as a Member of Parliament, the media had pictures of him blogging from parliament but after that, he rarely posted on Screenshots and his presence kid of faded from the blogosphere.

In the May 2013 general elections, Jeff held Jelutong with 70% of the vote, trashing his Gerakan opponent.

But, the DAP did not field Jeff for a third term in the 9 May 2018 general elections and according to media reports, Jeff had turned to focus his attention on photography.

Anyway, Jeff is back in the news again, warning people to be careful about what they read online.

I'll put that another way - There's plenty of scheiss online today.

The Free Malaysia Today article referred to follows below:-