It is welcoming that our Government has taken steps to engage the population through the use of social media like Facebook, social websites and forum discussions to better close the link in modern times where the internet has become a reasonable force.
However, the population must also understand the very nature of social websites and its environment whether they are from mainstream media or otherwise. While netizens could play an important role as arm chair critics as more popularly known, discussion forums and social media platforms are relatively new to our national scene.
One concern which brought to my horrific attention lately was some circulation about how a small handful of “clones” or “multiples” forum users at a mainstream media discussion forum manipulating “public opinions” when this alleged family members (father, son and cousin) has been falsely and deliberately creating a “fake discussion forum community” to attempt to mislead the general public into thinking that the forum opinions of the posters are huge in numbers coming from the general public, but in actual fact was merely the many fake created accounts by the same person or two, in this case the family as alleged. To realise it happens with one of our mainstream media is even more appalling to say the least.
As one wonder back, such cyber activities could well be an abuse from such perpetrators who are out to seek out for their own agenda or otherwise. On the other hand, it will be unwise to fall into such manipulated hands for the consequences can be harsh and the social stability implications to any given society can prove fatal. Imagine if any cyber syndicates were to falsely create such cyber acts like the alleged perpetrators, given the understanding that even the common man in the street could achieve that stunt? Was it a lapse of cyber security or negligence in managing and monitoring?
When false information are presented, our policy holders whom innocently gather and harvest the “netizens'” views and opinions, are bound to build inaccurate policies base on partial contributions from netizens. The country cannot move forward when wrong decisions are made from the wrong info from a handful of fake community.
The relevant authorities should not only investigate, penalise heavily such perpetrators and its host for allowing misleading or unfounded truths to be laid out to innocent public who seeks information for decision making, the internet community should also be wary and be vigilant to read and decide for themselves after harvesting various opinions from various sources while we move forward as a nation in the coming decades.
Source : The Influence That Never Should Have Been