Assault on Social Media continues

There is another article by Tessa Wong in the ST today on social media with the central theme that social media is unreliable and people are warned to read it with a big pinch of salt. And she quoted one reader thinking so after reading social media and getting more doubtful about its credibility. She continued to quote several more questionable postings in social media that were more of rumour mongering or untruths. The only instance that social media was praised was for saying the right thing, about the Yaw affair in Hougang. Here social media scored brilliantly.

Nothing was mentioned about the key role that social media has contributed on the AIM saga, the Brompton Bike saga, the hawker cleaning saga, the plight and unhappiness of the people on the influx of foreigners, plight of PMETs and job discriminations and high cost of living and the housing bubble. The contributions by the social media and independent bloggers digging for the truths, making investigations without being paid, and revealing many things that were not reported in the main media, not the right things maybe, are simply remarkable and as honest as it can be. And definitely more worthy of news reporting, more professional and important to be reported to give a balance picture of an affair.

Tessa Wong went on to talk about a survey conducted by the Institute of Policy Studies(IPS) which found ‘that on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is most untrustworthy and 5 is very trustworthy, the Internet received 2.82 on the average while television scored 3.55 and newspapers 3.58’.

She qualified that half of the respondents felt that there is too much govt control over the main media and that the newspapers and main media are biased in the political reporting. She further commented that ‘Such findings show that credibility is a complex creature’.

Allow me to add a few points. The main media is about a whole lot of other news other than social and political news. The social media is mainly about the latter. The second point I would like to make is that when the main media has too much govt control and is biased, how would it affect the honesty of the reports? Would too much control leading to being biased be another way of saying that the main media is not credible also, not telling the whole truth? How can a control media with the intention of reporting what it wants to report and reporting it in a biased manner be reliable and credible? You think and you find your own answer to that.

Perhaps a better comparison or survey will be to compare the reports and commentaries in social and main media on social and political issues. It is a given fact that 99.9% of non social and political news are factual and unlikely to be misleading or false. Some business and economic news could be misleading as they affect the companies and the stock market.

Also, the sample of a survey can easily be biased by the choice of the respondents and what kind of questions were being asked or cooked. This can be easily proven if I would to conduct a similar survey here on the reliability and credibility of the social media and main media just on social and political issues. I beg the findings can be shocking and contrary to what IPS found.

Shall I do it just to prove how biased even a survey can be and how biased a commentary on the credibility and reliability of social versus main media can be, as said, the issue is more complex than a survey can designed to cover the vital parts.


Anonymous said...

Shall I do it just to prove how biased even a survey can be...

Voting during a GE is also a form of survey what.

A survey to see which party is considered by majority voters to be the best to be govt, tio bo?

And PAP got 60% in the last GE and so become govt! So where is the bias, you say lah.

Anonymous said...

GE is a survey that is not biased. And it is a survey that really matters.

Other surveys biased or not, does it matter? If not, who cares?

Anonymous said...

Bangkok Post

[Social media's influence on Cambodian politics grows]

"A month before Cambodia's general election which takes place tomorrow,
the govt announced a directive banning local radio stations from airing foreign programmes during the campaign and election period.

In response, the Cambodian public immediately turned to Facebook and other social media voicing their condemnation, followed by the US govt and international media outlets,
resulting in the govt reversing the ban the next day.

Both social media and the internet are increasingly changing the dynamics of election politics worldwide,
especially in countries with a high youth-bulge,
and Cambodia is no exception to this trend."



[Change in the air as Cambodia votes?]


Anonymous said...

Ya lor, even if RB is considered by 100% of netizens surveyed to make the best PM, does it matter?

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Haha, actually I was PM for many years. Personnel Manager: )

Matilah_Singapura said...

Long post [1/2]

Social media (SM) has never been and can never be 100% objective, simply just "about the facts and nothing else". It is all about individuals' points of view, emotions, personal opinion -- subjective at best. People on social media EDITORIALISE by default. The propensity for error is great, as the sources are second hand, or simply anecdotal, and always delivered through emotions.

However that is not to say that SM does not have enormous benefits - such as the democratisation of news and opinion, widespread instant distribution, and occasionally the cold unvarnished truth -- like Twitter exploding during everytime Wikileaks has a "score".

In theory the Mainstream Media (MSM) is a "better" source of news. This is based on the assumptions that:

1. The MSM reports the facts. Editorials are clearly marked so people can readily distinguish between "facts" and "opinion".
2. The MSM has trustworthy resources to check the facts
3. The MSM is independent of external influence -- like the government A "free press" is really a FREE PRESS, and also TOTALLY INDEPENDENT.
5. Editors are fair, balanced, just and honest; and have no hidden agendas and are not pawns of private or public "power interests".

If your MSM corporation fulfils those basic 5 criteria, then chances are they are trustworthy and reliable.
[cont. 2/2]

Matilah_Singapura said...

Cont [2/2]
>> She continued to quote several more questionable postings in social media that were more of rumour mongering or untruths.

Tessa Wong from the ST is EDITORIALISING in her article. That should be the red flag which alerts you to just fucking relax...it is an opinion, not fact, thus the probability of her being wrong on her accounts is high.

It is easy to CHERRY PICK (a logical fallacy) the data ( a form of human mind "datamining") to arrive at a conclusion which "confirms" a pre-held belief. This is CONFIRMATION BIAS -- the mother of all logical fallacies. When you already have a well-held intellectual position, you will look for "facts" to confirm your belief, and tend to neglect facts which DISCONFIRM your pre-held beliefs.

>> Tessa Wong went on to talk about a survey conducted by the Institute of Policy Studies(IPS) which found ‘that on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is most untrustworthy and 5 is very trustworthy, the Internet received 2.82 on the average while television scored 3.55 and newspapers 3.58’.

Surveys are highly unreliable. There is no established baseline. There are biases all over the place -- respondent bias and surveyor bias. The "data" is completely based on peoples' subjective opinion.

This means the survey (already flawed) only, at best, illustrates people's FEELINGS about trustworthiness, not trustworthiness itself as described by an objective standard -- even if that standard is expressed in a probability of trustworthiness.

>> She further commented that ‘Such findings show that credibility is a complex creature’.

Not really. I would say that credibility is probabilistic, never a fixed certainty. It takes time and effort to evaluate the "signals" which we perceive, because there is always NOISE in the signal. The level of noise and false signals is made worse by govt interfering with the market in signals -- i.e. the lack of a free press and ability for free expression of citizen bloggers and social media participants.

WHY? Because the more you cannot trust the press -- because they are beholden to the government and interpretations of the truth, not the public and the simple truth fundamentally -- the more you have to seek out alternative sources like social media for your "truth", and the noise level in social media is high, which means you INCREASE the likelihood (probability) of error.

Bottom line: lack of a free press and free expression by citizens is a very bad situation.

Do the math.

Anonymous said...

Thinking of rating the Main Media, IPS and Tessa Wong, but they are outside the Range of one to five.
And why television lower than newspapers in reliability.Does it mean reliabilities of the people in the State Media also differ?
A little confused, anyway what the heck! Does it matter

Anonymous said...

For the Rating to be meaningful, it needs a balance reading at Zero(0) with higher positive reading as more reliable. For trustworthiness going way below reliable or worse full of 'wayanging' and propaganda, rating should go below the Zero Reading.
Then, me could at least offer my opinion..

Anon 12:56PM

Anonymous said...

RB you are good in social issues and read Sinkies heartbeat well. If given a chance I vote you Social & Community Minister.

Anonymous said...

There is a State-controlled media in Spore because there is a politician chairing the spore press which not right in a democracy.

the govt is still clinging to media control for the sake of controlling. just like people who eat for the sake of eating !

not cool.

this is surely not the type of political system the younger generation would want to see their kids grow up in

Anonymous said...

control over the media
control over our CPF money
control/influence our thinking
control over internet
control for the sake of control !

there is no consultation with the people whatsoever regarding these controls.

Anonymous said...

"Institute of Policy Studies(IPS) which found ‘that on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is most untrustworthy and 5 is very trustworthy, the Internet received 2.82 on the average while television scored 3.55 and newspapers 3.58’."

ShittyTimes with ranking of 149 in the world must be the most credible compare to number 1 ranking. Look at number 1 ranking, and you see the familiarity with social media, that is one of critical and independent thinking, and leave no stone unturn approach.

ShittyTimes = mercenaries "write the right thing" expecting that the daft will then "read the right thing".

Anonymous said...

Poor Tessa, wonder whether she believed in what she wrote!

Anonymous said...

"Poor Tessa, wonder whether she believed in what she wrote! "

Does not matter whether she believe as long as she become wealthy writing nonsense for alien party.

Now we know why Vivian waived his parliament privilege to tempt WP to sue him of false accusation, and why the whole partisan cabinets are supporting vivian even though WP present all necessary evidences, and why Lesile is not charged all along until now. the clowns are just finding the appropriate timing to use them as diversion to the forthcoming corruption cases happening under PAP government. they think they have the most perfect smokescreen for the daft sinkies, did they ?

If anyone notice, when they accuse WP , they don't need to do thorough investigation, just shoot off their mouth, but it happens to PAP government, suddenly they need to take a year for thorough investigation ? while in the meantime, delaying and not releasing info about the investigation until the right moment to release to the public ? How timely is that ? Don't tell us all this is coincidence ? Such coincidences can only happen to PAP ? Even fools can see that they are coordinated.

Anonymous said...

SMRT CEO should be begging you, UNCLE Chua to be the replacement as Chief Spokesman, at $500,000 annual package.

REDBEAN you are a tried and proven talent:
1. Expert in media.
2. Expert in HR.
3. Expert in public engagement.
4. Pioneer in social media.
A true blue talent.
Cheaper and better than many very expensive half-baked Foreign fake talents.

Why are the Generals still not considering experts like you???

Anonymous said...

.....so little $500,000 only....should be at least $888,888.88......

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Thank you guys for the compliments. I wish that I am a foreign talent. Oops, I must not use those two words. I wish a am a foreigner, then they may consider hiring me for the job.

I will be very happy just getting kopi kau from you guys.

Anonymous said...

There was a huge stack of unsold shitty times meant to be returned AS USUAL in this Giant store in the west of Spore with a credit note on top of it.

Everyday, everywhere the unsold copies from the previous day all over Spore must be returned after manual counting !

The print industry the, print media's future is very bleak.

Fewer and fewer bookshops in Singapore.

With a 3G phone the world's credible media at your fingertip !

Anonymous said...

Given the relentless competition from the internet who has tons of very creditble online contents ranging from internatinal affairs, science and technology, law and economics etc

Videos of university lectures, light-hearted meaningful clips produced by man in the street.

Despite the challenges the shitty times is still wasting time producing contents of such poor quality.

Can temasek holdings do something to improve the quality of your papers?

Anonymous said...

Like all the 'nonsensical' articles such as this in the ST, I always note that it does not provide the writer's email. In other words, this is my view, your views are not welcomed. (I had wanted to forward her your post, together with some of my other comments).

That the number of English-speaking residents/foreigners has increased significantly over the past 10 years and yet, that the circulation of the ST has actually gone down speaks volume of what even the newcomers think of the paper.

They too, know that the ST is but just an external issue of the PAP in-house newsletter.

Anonymous said...

NO ONE is ever truly objective, never mind whatever their protestations. Whenever one expresses a point of view on a matter, there is no more objectivity. To claim otherwise is nothing but an illusion.

jjgg said...

Rb...social media is unreliable so readership skyrockets..MSM is reliable so readership goes....down down down??? Why ah...Tessa ...you ask and answered the wrong questions...

b said...

The reason that the ruling party cannot do a proper job may be due to MSM being so one sided in their reporting. They feed the wrong thing to the ministers and make them read the wrong stuff.

Anonymous said...

Or is it due to the high rewards media folks are getting that they become bootlickers instead of working objectively?