Week in Review: How powerful will social media be in influencing Malaysia’s GE14?

  • DNA collaborates with MMU Business School to gauge impact of social media
  • Mark Zuckerberg shows he values his privacy during senate hearing in the US


IT was the only highlight worth mentioning at the Mark Zuckerberg hearing before the US Congress on Wednesday and Thursday. When Senator Dick Durbin from Illinois state asked Zuckerberg if he would share the name of the hotel he was staying at or the people he messaged in the current week and the boy billionaire said he would not share such information. He clearly values his privacy.

Fortunately for him, there are close to a billion folks on earth who clearly do not mind sharing such information, and much more random and mundane thoughts and actions in their lives. That’s a rhodium (a metal more precious than gold) mine of data for Zuckerberg’s algorithms and servers to serve up bits of insight to eager advertisers, willing to pay for the right to send us targeted advertising.

But as the fallout from the Russian tampering in the 2016 US elections via targeting US users of Facebook still revebrates, over here in Malaysia, the heat from the coming GE14 elections is beginning to turn up as well. And when the dust from the elections settles, you can be sure there will be multiple surveys done to study the impact that social media had in swaying voter sentiment.

But DNA isn’t waiting for this post-mortem. We want to tell our readers how social media is likely to affect their voting choices. And to do that, we have partnered with the Business School of Multimedia University in Cyberjaya to conduct a quick poll on the impact social media will have on the voting choices of Malaysians.

MMU’s Business School is led by its director, Prof Dr Murali Raman, a senior academic who started his career in the corporate sector with stints in Maybank and Accenture. Involved in research as well, Dr Murali and his research team have received close to US$258,000 (RM1 million) in grant funding over the past five years.

The survey will be live for five days after which Murali and his team will dissect the responses with the results shared on DNA next Fri (April 21).

With DNA’s community being a very tech savvy group and probably better aware of the subtle manipulation they could be exposed to via their social news and sharing feeds, I am really curious to see the outcome of the results. But readers need to play their part first and answer the survey and do share the link with your other communities as well. Have fun with the survey!

Meanwhile among the stories we carried this week, was a survey carried out by the Economist Intelligence Unit that revealed consumer concerns over the loss of their civil rights from the privacy invasions that are happening too frequently now. Interestingly, 92% want to see higher penalties imposed on companies that violate consumers’ privacy.

That may be so, but I feel Zuckerberg had a relatively easy time from his supposed “grilling” by the US Senators he faced.

Meanwhile in Indonesia, Southeast Asian e-commerce leader, Lazada, turned six this week, while in Malaysia, Google Cloud reveals its first Malaysian customers and ratchets up the stakes in the race to sign more customers with Alibaba Cloud being the new kid on the block in Malaysia but also the most aggressive.

When competition is fierce, customers will benefit, as we have seen in the past few years in the rideshare market. I highly doubt that we will see any consolidation in this space between the four cloud giants. Of course, Microsoft and Amazon make up the Big Four here.

And continuing with our weekly profiling of DNA’s latest Digerati50 batch, Albert Alexander is happy to take on a US$35 billion (RM135.6 billion) problem. Read on to discover why.

Digerati50: 'The bigger the problem you solve, the more money you make'

Finally, here’s wishing you a restful weekend and a productive week ahead.

Editors’ Picks:

Google Cloud parades first Malaysian clients

Gogoprint expands into Indonesia

Lazada Indonesia turns six

Strong start to 2018 for VC market

Are Malaysian SMEs ready for Industry 4.0?

The great potential of proptech

Good security begins with good hygiene


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