Government to use more Facebook and Twitter to combat opposition ‘lies’

The government must boost its presence on the internet by mastering new media such as ‘Facebook’ and ‘Twitter’ which
are highly popular, especially among the young.

Institute of Mind Development (INMIND) chief executive Norizan Sharif said the conventional way of tackling issues using the mainstream media is ineffective.

“The government must respond to new media, otherwise the people will treat its allegations as true.

“Currently, we don’t see the government responding in Facebook, we also don’t see any (government) initiative in answering in blogs and Twitter. We can see many opposition Members of Parliament in Twitter, but on the government
side, the number is dismal,” he said.

Norizan was commenting on a statement by Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein yesterday who said the opposition uses new media to instigate the people to take part in illegal activities for political gain although the news they highlight are untrue.

He also suggested that the government activate efforts to (upload) every announcement or good news to YouTube because studies found that the young spent part of their time surfing the internet.

Meanwhile, Universiti Kebangsaan’s History, Politics and Strategy Study Centre senior lecturer Abd Ghapa Harun said the mainstream media must also dispel the fallacy that they still monopolised news distribution.

“It is important that the government is transparent when issuing related information when facing an issue because this will build confidence in the media being used by the government.

Abd Ghapa also said that emphasising a high level of integrity among the mainstream media by the government, would in itself weaken the public trust in the alternative media.

He said the integrity of a large portion of the content of the alternative media was questionable compared to that of the mainstream media.

– Bernama