The internet and Facebook: The swing factor in elections

Salleh Said Keruak

Political players started using the Internet in 1998 to sway public opinion but it was not until ten years later in 2008 that Malaysians realised the impact the Internet can have in swinging votes. President Obama used the Internet for his fund raising while President Trump spent US$70 million just on Facebook alone.

Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch said by 2050 the media is going to be totally online or electronic and the print media is going to be a thing of the past. The way things are going that may actually happen far earlier than 2050. As it is politics and political campaigns are now more dependent on the online and electronic media.

We need to move with the times and become internet-savvy, especially in the media industry. Even more importantly we must not spoil the integrity of the online media with the proliferation of fake news because this will create a serious problem of trust deficit. We must make sure that the integrity of the online media is not killed off due to the action of a few. If not what could be a very valuable tool would become a stigma because no one would trust what is published online.