KUCHING: The coming state election will see an intense online campaign.
An expert even predicts that 60 per cent of political campaigns will be done through the Internet especially social media.
Media activist Sean Ang said on Sunday night that the power of social media in the political arena must not be underestimated as witnessed during past elections.
“The rise of opposition parties in the past years is because of the Internet especially blogs.
“Even at that time when social media was on the rise, when people were still on Friendster instead of Facebook, people were using social media extensively for receiving and dispersing information,” he said when met at a talk on ‘Facebook and Twitter – Trends and Threats’ at Sarawak Club.
In his opinion, Ang who is also executive director of Seacem (Southeast Asian Centre for e-Media) said that 60 per cent of political campaigns in urban areas will be through social media.
“This coming election is very intense and I would say that 60 per cent of political campaigns in urban areas with high Internet connectivity will be through social media,” he said.
When asked about the credibility of social media pages of politicians, Ang said based on his observation he believed that 95 per cent of local politicians’ profiles are genuine.
However, he said the credibility of the social media pages “depends on the politicians themselves”.
“They themselves determine their own credibility,” said Ang, who later gave an overview of trends of social media on politics, business and social life to the audience.
During the interview, Ang strongly advised the public to be very aware of the dangers of over exposure in social media.
“Especially for women, you will easily be targeted. Therefore, we must be careful of what we post online, try not to put personal information that allows people to use against you.
“Also, don’t put in too much information on what you’re currently doing and where you are,” he added.
Prior to joining Seacem, Ang was a policy advisor for the National IT Council of Malaysia on e-learning and e-governance.