From Russia to USA. From the PAP to Singaporeans. PAP sponsored social media content will appear overall Singapore.
This is a report from The Washington Post.
If Russians can do it in an open society, like USA, a country with freedom of speech, how do we imagine the same in Singapore when everything is controlled under a one-party state.
The US has no press control and many mainstream media was against Donald Trump during the 2016 US Presidential Election. Even with main stream media support, Clinton could not win the battle. Why?
Did Russian content in social media really have such a big impact on the outcome of the US election? It may be yes and may be no. But certainly, Clinton campaign had her weakness. And the blame now goes to social media, especially the Russian content.
If this is true, the People’s Action Party will have to re-think their strategy. They have to worry the effectiveness of mainstream media. In “Reducing Importance of Print Media, PAP turns to Social Media for a bigger catch”https://pijitailai.blogspot.sg/2017/10/reducing-importance-of-print-media-pap.html, the PAP is gearing up in the social media. There is a limit that the controlled print media and broadcasting channels can reach.
The PAP is now talking a lot about their fourth generation leaders. The controlled media can print a handsome picture of whoever they are. But in social media, these PAP leaders are not only less popular, in addition, they are competent deficit.
If Trump’s social media strategy is right (winning election with or without Russian assistance), then the PAP will have to be very aggressive online.
If same thing happens in Singapore, the Russian content changes to the PAP content. It will definitely have a big impact, perhaps, a big election impact as big as the passing of Lee Kuan Yew. While LKY’s impact is through controlled media not in social media. This social media deficit will have to sponsored by the PAP government.
In fact, we have already seen a lot of government sponsored social media content. As indicated in the Post’s article, Facebook, Google and Twitter had unusual sponsored Russian content during the election period.
Google and Facebook have 60% digital advertising market in the US. They may also have the same percentage share in Singapore. This digital advertising revenue can come from everyone, including local and foreign governments. While in Singapore, it is less likely foreign governments will thrown money in our domestic market. But the PAP government, for whatever reason, can legally advertise in social media.
When the PAP talks about the Fake news in social media, it ignores and excludes itself as they claim they have an “Ownself check ownself” system. But all other social media users are subject to their control.
It is a great challenge ahead, from mainstream media to social media, for both the PAP supporters and alternative views. The PAP supporters and sites must try to attract as many 'likes' as they can. While the alternative views and sites and supporters will have to do the opposite.