Malaysia’s Most Popular Twitter User Is Prime Minister @NajibRazak

najib_profile

Last night, the Prime Minister Malaysia, Dato’ Sri Najib Razak has surpassed one million followers on Twitter. With this milestone, the Prime Minister has surpassed the one million mark on both Facebook and Twitter in 2012 (Facebook Page surpassed one million fans in May 2012). And this undoubtedly makes him the most followed Malaysian on Twitter and Facebook.

Below is the six months trend of followers growth for @NajibRazak account on Twitter:

Twitter Followers Growth of @NajibRazak

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Defamation on Twitter: First Malaysian Ordered by Court to Pay RM500,000 Libel Damages

twitter

Journalist R. Nadeswaran is found guilty of posting defamatory remarks on Twitter and ordered by the Malaysian court to pay RM500,000 to the complainant, property developer Datuk Mohamad Salim Fateh Din, according to The Star.

This is a landmark court case, as Mr. Nadeswaran is the first Malaysian to be sued for his postings on social network Twitter. In 2011, political activist Fahmi Fadzil was the first to apologize 100 times on Twitter as a settlement in a defamation case.

We are seeing a growing number of legal actions brought worldwide against Internet users for libelous comments posted online, which are setting precedents to previously uncharted waters of unbounded freedom of speech.

Generally, when it comes to control on the Internet, social media users and Internet companies prefer regulation-less environment. And they probably agree with this New York court’s opinion on online communications – emails, blogs and online media:

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Review 2011: Most Notable Moments in Malaysian Social Media Scene

looking back

2011, what a year it was!

There are now over 12 million Facebook users and possibly, hundreds of thousands of Twitter users in Malaysia. Social tools are becoming more pervasive. In 2011, the tools are a force to be reckon with.

Malaysians (and elsewhere) used social media tools to amplify their dissatisfaction about various issues – from election reform to proposed Bill to government initiatives. Not only protests though. In 2011, we also saw a high-profile Malaysian CEO posting his unvarnished thoughts/opinions on social media, a record breaking tweetup, and a marriage proposal that went massively viral worldwide!

These days, whatever happens offline, the news get propagated across social networks. Whatever happens in social media space gets attention in the physical world.

In the past 365 days, there were many interesting things happening in the Malaysian social media scene. Here are some of the most notable, memorable ones.

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Sergey Brin, Jack Dorsey, Chad Hurley, Jimmy Wales, et al. to U.S. Government: DO NOT Emulate These Oppressive Nations – Malaysia, China, Iran

free speech

Malaysia is one of the three countries (the others are China and Iran) cited by the leading US Internet entrepreneurs in an Open Letter to lawmakers in Washington. The Open Letter opposes the proposed Protect IP Act (PIPA) and Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which US lawmakers are currently discussing.

According to the letter, both Acts threaten to “give the US Government the power to censor the web using techniques similar to those used by China, Malaysia and Iran.”

The signatories of the Open Letter include Sergey Brin (co-founder of Google), Jack Dorsey / Evan Williams / Biz Stone (co-founders of Twitter), Elon Musk (co-founder of PayPal), Chad Hurley (co-founder of YouTube), Reid Hoffman (co-founder of LinkedIn), Jerry Yang (co-founder of Yahoo!), and Pierre Omidyar (founder of e-Bay).

Sergey Brin posted on his Google+ page on why he supports the Open Letter:

In just two decades, the world wide web has transformed and democratized access to information all around the world. I am proud of the role Google has played alongside many others such as Yahoo, Wikipedia, and Twitter. Whether you are a student in an internet cafe in the developing world or a head of state of a wealthy nation, the knowledge of the world is at your fingertips.

Of course, offering these services has come with its challenges. Multiple countries have sought to suppress the flow of information to serve their own political goals. At various times notable Google websites have been blocked in China, Iran, Libya (prior to their revolution), Tunisia (also prior to revolution), and others. For our own websites and for the internet as a whole we have worked tirelessly to combat internet censorship around the world alongside governments and NGO promoting free speech.

Thus, imagine my astonishment when the newest threat to free speech has come from none other but the United States. Two bills currently making their way through congress — SOPA and PIPA — give the US government and copyright holders extraordinary powers including the ability to hijack DNS and censor search results (and this is even without so much as a proper court trial). While I support their goal of reducing copyright infringement (which I don’t believe these acts would accomplish), I am shocked that our lawmakers would contemplate such measures that would put us on a par with the most oppressive nations in the world.

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Earth’s Most Tweeted Events in 2011

tweet per second

Twitter fairly captured the essence of 2011. Below is a list of top 16 events tweeted this year, ranked by tweets per second (TPS). TPS as a yardstick to measure the intensity of reaction by Twitter users and thus, signifies the level of significance of an event.

Only five events in the list were dominantly US-centric, namely Troy Davis execution, NBA Finals, East Coast Earthquake, Home Run Derby, and Superbowl. The others have more global appeals. Yet another indication of growing internationalization of Twitter.

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Twitter’s Image Sharing Service, Yet Another Nail in Third-Party Services’ Coffin

upload picture on twitter

On June 01 2011, Twitter announced the release of “a feature to upload a photo and attach it to your Tweet right from Twitter.com.” The feature is finally available on my Twitter today.

Previously, users have to use third-party photo upload apps like Twitpic, Twitgoo, yfrog and many others. Now, users can directly upload image on Twitter.com interface. Images are hosted on Photobucket and appear as links – “pic.twitter.com/…”. The maximum size of each image is 3MB. Twitter will remove Exif data of the uploaded photo to address privacy concerns.

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Twitter may soon introduce a Shorten button

Twitter continues to pack its web interface with features. Now, it seems the microblogging site may soon introduce a Shorten button, to be located next to the Tweet button. Shorten is a URL shortener. Enter a URL and click the Shorten button to convert long URL into a shorter bit.ly link (yes, bit.ly).

The button is gone now; it only appeared for a few minutes and quite surely an accidental exposure. (And unfortunately, I didn’t manage to screenshot it.)

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Trending topics making a comeback on new Twitter homepage

twitter

Twitter has just unveiled (again) a different homepage design. It is only on recently (April 08 2011, to be exact) that Twitter homepage design underwent a major revamp. This time around, Twitter introduces only a few minor changes:

  • Inclusion of What’s on Twitter right now, which highlight three current trending topics. Trending topics were featured prominently in the design layout introduced on July 29 2009. From March 30 2010 onwards, trending topics ceased to appear on Twitter homepage. (I’m wondering if the return of Executive Chairman / Product Lead Jack Dorsey has anything to do with this tweak.)
  • Suggested Users photo collage is gone.

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