Partisan politics pushes social media forum off track
by Aidila Razak
Sourced from http://malaysiakini.com/news/167178
Jun 17, 11 | 8:47am
Note: Can only be shared for free with 10 friends. If you’re the no.11, please go to the url above :)
A panel discussion on political campaigning through social media lost its plot as Malaysian partisan politics raised temperatures at the World Bloggers and Social Media Summit yesterday.
Despite the presence of international panelists from the UK and the Philippines, the focus kept returning to Malaysian politics as some members of the audience trained their guns on moderator and Malaysiakini CEO Premesh Chandran.
Opening the floodgates was blogger Zainol Abideen, who blogs as Mahaguru58 and used his first opportunity to ask a question to complain about being removed from Malaysiakini’s Top Blogs section. He claimed that he was removed after he “started to become critical of Pakatan Rakyat”.
Cheered on by the audience, he also expressed unhappiness over Malaysiakini’s policy to allow “anonymous commentators who do not have the (guts) to show their names” to post comments considered “sensitive to people’s religions”.
The blogger, who claimed to represent the Muslim Bloggers Alliance, was also critical of Malaysiakini’s editorial stance which it said highlighted too much of negativity in Malaysia, thus scaring away investors.
Backlash on Twitter
While Zainol’s comments received cheers of support among the audience, the live tweet stream from the summit, which was projected onto the wide screen beside the stage, saw several members accusing the blogger of bigotry himself.
Some put the spotlight on a video posted on the Internet featuring the blogger saying that “Christians in Malaysia are starting to get out of hand” and suggesting that non-Muslims be tattooed on the chest or forehead to avoid body-snatching cases.
In a blog posting, Zainol later claimed that he was only joking about the tattooing of non-Muslims.
Chandran responded by explaining Malaysiakini’s editorial policy to speak for the underdogs and their concerns, including wastage in government expenditure, and that the portal bans users who continually post racist and bigoted comments after three warnings.
He also pointed out that Malaysiakini features blogs from the likes of former New Straits Times editor A Kadir Jasin and ex-premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who cannot be said to be pro-Pakatan.
While the portal takes no responsibility over the content of the blogs it features, it does remove blogs when it receives complaints that the sites are defamatory and inflammatory in nature.
Good parents don’t grant total freedom
Malaysiakini was also put on the spot when asked if it will continue to be as critical of the government if Pakatan Rakyat takes over Putrajaya.
“You can ask our journalists who know that they get it from both sides, and we have been sued by Pakatan and BN politicians and we deal with both accordingly, and will continue to do so if Pakatan comes into power,” Chandran said.
While several other questions beyond partisan politics were raised, they were not about the original panel discussion of using social media for political campaigning, but focusing instead on the topic of the previous session on social media ethics.
In her comment, one blogger placed the granting of freedom of expression as a fundamental right in the context of “good parenting”.
“You will never give your child absolute freedom for his or her own good,” she said.
This was, however, refuted by Filipino panelist Tonyo Cruz, who said that there is no reason to question the belief that humans have the right to free expression.
“Don’t deny it to yourself and your children. If you take it away from yourself, you become less human,” said the member of Blogwatch, which is widely acclaimed to have significantly influenced the results of the presidential elections in the Philippines.
JAMESJG.COM said only the last session of the World Blogger and Social Media Summit chaired by Malaysiakini CEO, Premesh Chandran went a little off track yesterday. A few other bloggers who have negative comments against Malaysiakini couldn’t made it to the mic for the Q&A session. Not so free to expression eh MyEvents?
Nevertheless the summit was an eye opener to social media newbies. Politicians should block their diary for the coming social media summit this November.
KUALA LUMPUR, June 16 (Bernama) — A total of 51 .gov.my websites have come under attack causing disruptions at various levels to at least 41 of the websites, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) said today.
However, MCMC said it did not expect the overall recovery of these websites to take long as most of them had already recovered from the attacks.
“Our monitoring of the situation showed that there was a reduced level of attacks by 4am this morning and upon further evaluation, we found there had been little impact on Malaysian users as a result of this attack,” it said in a statement.
The attacks followed an announcement by a foreign-based hackers group, Anonymous, to hack into the government’s official website www.malaysia.gov.my yesterday.
‘Anonymous’ had cited alleged Internet censorship by the government and the recent blocking of 10 file-sharing sites in Malaysia as two of the reasons for wanting to launch the attack, which it codenamed “Operation Malaysia”.
MCMC said there were indeed attempts to hack several websites which started at approximately 11.30pm Wednesday, including on its own www.skmm.gov.my site, but was not successful.
MCMC said its Network Security Centre had been making concerted efforts to mitigate the attacks around the clock and would continue to work with other enforcement agencies and security experts as well service providers to monitor the situation.
The public is advised to report any information they may have regarding the identity of these hackers as the act to disrupt network services is a serious offence, which is punishable by law. — BERNAMA
JAMESJG.COM : During the current World Blogger and Social Media Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Ahmad Izham Khairuddin, the Head of Outreach Department of Cybersecurity commented that it will be a challenge for Anonymous to hack into their (Cybersecurity) website.
Following that statement, Anuj Singh, the Director of Global Response Centre, IMPACT Malaysia said that all websites are hackable.
Obviously its a cushion statement just in case Cybersecurity got hacked! Yup..
AN OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM THE MALAYSIAN COMMUNICATIONS AND MULTIMEDIA COMMISSION (MCMC) IN RELATION TO THE HACKING OF MALAYSIAN GOVERNMENT WEBSITES BY UNKNOWN HACKERS
CYBERJAYA, 16 June 2011 – Regarding the threat by unknown hackers to attack websites with the .gov.my domain, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) confirms that there were indeed attempts to hack several
websites, including www.skmm.gov.my. The attempt to hack MCMC’s website was not successful.
These attacks started at approximately 11.30pm, on 15 June 2011. We are able to confirm that 51 .gov.my websites were attacked and there has been disruption at various levels to at least 41 of those websites. However, we do not expect the overall recovery to these websites to take long as most websites have already recovered from the attack.
Our monitoring of the situation showed that there was a reduced level of attacks by 4.00am this morning and upon further evaluation, so far we gauge that there has been little impact on Malaysian users as a result of this attack.
MCMC’s Network Security Center has been making concerted efforts to mitigate the attacks around the clock and will continue to work with other enforcement agencies and security experts as well service providers to monitor the situation.
The public is advised to report any information they may have regarding the identity of these hackers as the act to disrupt network services is a serious offence, which is punishable by law.”