Cybertroopers and tea parties: government use of the internet in Malaysia

Julian Hopkins

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12 Citations (Scopus)


The advent of the Internet has enabled a disruption of the Malaysian government s long-standing control of media content. However, there are also opportunities for the government to extend into the Internet what Cherian George has called narrow tailoring policies, designed to ensure hegemonic consensus . Demonstrating the interconnections of intraparty factional rivalry, blogging and newspaper management, as well as the extension of government influence into online content, this paper discusses three cases: the transformation of a bloggers association; the organisation of cybertroopers by the dominant governing party; and, the use of a blog, Facebook, and Twitter by the prime minister (PM), Najib Razak. Each of the cases highlights particular blog affordances , a concept used to parse the potentials and limitations of blogs and other social media with regards to state hegemonic control through media ownership. In addition, an adapted concept of extended parasocial relations is proposed in relation to Najib s blog and social media presence. Overall, these cases demonstrate the continuity and complementarity of on- and offline activities, which form a relatively stabilised assemblage of political activity. (c)14 (c)14 MIC/SCI-NTU.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5 - 24
Number of pages20
JournalAsian Journal of Communication
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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