Twitter As The Source of Alternative News

Starhill, City Centre – The traffic jam in Bukit Bintang this afternoon was outrageous. It has been quite a while since I last came around for shopping. During my undergraduate years, I used to frequent the Low Yat Plaza with my computer geek uncle . Nowadays I would prefer the lesser crowd in Digital Mall, Petaling Jaya. Technology advancement is rapid where cutting edge gadgets are displayed on the mirrored-shelves leading to its predecessors’ obsolescence.

Technology is one of the prime agents of change in a nation’s socio-cultural life. For example, news today travel within a split of seconds like never before. News are instantaneously served to us while it is hot and juicy. Delay by a few minutes and an information is already considered as stale, unconsumable as if it was yesterday’s Nasi Lemak left uncovered on the kitchen’s dining table.

Personally, I am updated through the 140 characters of wordspreading application known as Twitter. When I was enticed to sign up in 2008, I only utilised it as a repository of aphorisms on the miniscule lessons of life. I have been a loyal Twitterer for more than a year now and I have witnessed the evolution of its utility in the web of social media. Over the months, Twitter has gradually transformed in terms of its function, discourse and popularity.

The application has transcended from a microblog of personal expressions, discussions of the latest trends of music or fashion to news updates. The significance of Twitter was globally recognised when it was massively utilised by the general public in the Iran election which was held in June last year. It has inadvertantly become as one of the most vital campaigning tools in elections and medium of discourses on issues.

The best part is that Twitter can not only be accessed from the web but also immediately from mobile phones.

In terms of content, news are published in Twitter by news sites like The Star, The NutGraph and MalaysiaKini with a succint header plus short url links to its original pages. Some reporters provide realtime updates on the coverage of events. However, the general users are also considered as alternative news conveyors where raw news are posted by them without any policy bound filtering from any parties.

When information is accessed from various dimensions besides from government controlled media and the opposition’s medium of propaganda, we as citizens are able to assimilate facts in considering the reality of our local politics. Sometimes we may be confused being bombarded by different stances of opinions. However, we should also be able to to rationally comprehend the morality of an issue by taking into consideration the thoughts from people who are apathetic about politics but prioritise the destiny of the country.

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4 thoughts on “Twitter As The Source of Alternative News

  1. True, the late 1990s had witnessed what is called as Information Age (Era Maklumat), whereby information is just on people’s fingertips. This age also known as “Information Boom” (Ledakan Maklumat) concomitant with the rise of sophisticated technology such as Internet, blogs, twitter, micro-blogs, etc.

    What comes to my mind is this: is this phenomenon make us more knowledgeable? More informed? Greater than the previous scholars in term of knowledge and understanding?

    You know the best what the answer is.

    I think that is the reason, probably, why God give us “limited knowledge” (ilmu al-mahdud), because as human we just can’t process much knowledge as one time… but as compared with God, His knowledge is Boundless… Limitless, al-‘alim, al-hakim, al-wasi’.

    Even though we live in the Information Age, but we still unaware of a lot of things around us… coz, we just can’t afford to process them… God is great!

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