Moderating the conversation: How are you going to balance it?



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Participatory in online culture is a common approach in this century. Simply, it is because of the efficiency and interactivity through Internet have make convenient to everyone to share and respond to the tweets, status and up-to-date info.  Hence, there are various issues and incident could be just openly discussed through various media platforms, especially blogging and forums. These have inevitably become the virtual landscape for them to voice out their doubts or arguments towards the issues without fear. In a direct manner, how will a controversial issue that has being regulated meanwhile the public can participate to that issue by giving out their comments freely?

According to Martin (2012), she mentioned “as unregulated speech increased, the personal safety of staff and users became a concern.” In my personal opinion, I believe it is hard to regulated public especially who are eagerly to write their opinions towards the controversial issue. For example, the media platform likes ABC Online has faced the biggest challenge which is hard for them “to identify and control individual behaviors that could destroy that cohesiveness.” (Martin 2012) Therefore, it has implemented “code of conduct and conditions and also operated three strikes system.” (Martin 2012) These are specifically set to against the users who are still trying to breach the code and rules and the ones that still widespread the inappropriate comments continuously.

Thus, is this considered as moderate in fair situation? I think it is. Perhaps one of the controversial issues which are being discussed in forums, I will suggest to use the authorization code to limit the forum user not to post more than 3 comments towards the issue. In short, it might able to decrease the spammers. Besides, the comments could be also implementing to be “flagged” as well if spotted in using inappropriate phrases or words regarding to the issue. In other words, this way is to balance the regulatory of issue and participatory of public in different media platforms.

Furthermore, there are several cases happened in Malaysia and one of the cases is “In 2008, Raja Petra Kamaruddin, another famous socio-political blogger in Malaysia, was also arrested by the authorities. He was detained under the Internal Security Act.” (Ahmad and et. al 2011) It is all due to his blog content is considered as subversive and misled the public.  Likewise, this is just like how Martin (2012) said that the importance of “personal safety” while giving out the unregulated speech, the content in Internet definitely can be go viral, thus the balancing of regulation and participatory is indeed significant. To look into an easier perspective in the Internet security, light punishment can be just account being banned. In contrary, the heavy punishment will be drag in your personal safety. To conclude, I think moderating the conversation in the digital world to be fair is just hard because it eventually bring the implication to the freedom of speech.   


Ahmad, AL, Mohamad, EMW, Hassan, BRA, Pawanted, L, Ahmad, F & Aziz, J (2011), ‘Regulating blogs in Malaysia’, The Innovation Journal: The Public Sector Innovation Journal, Vol. 16, no. 30, pp. 2-17, viewed 29 May 2013,

Fiona Martin (2012) ‘Vox Populi, Vox Dei: ABC Online and the risks of dialogic interaction’, in Histories of Public Service Broadcasters on the Web, editors, N. Brugger and M. Burns. New York: Peter Lang. pp. 177 – 192



Self Regulation in Malaysia?


Does media regulation need to be always keeping pace with the media development? In my opinion, I think it is needed to depend on what kind of issues. For example, racial and religious are the controversial issues that Malaysia media has agreed to stay away in order not to create hatred and chaos among the public. However, there is “media ethics and self-regulation are complicated by the different performance standards that mass media operations establish for themselves.” (Ramanathan, Ivan & Kaur n.d.) The self-regulation is actually abided to the “Communications and Multimedia Content Code (Content Code) which is a set of industry guidelines for the usage and/or dissemination of content via the electronic networked medium for public consumption.” (The Communication & Multimedia Content Forum of Malaysia 2011) As a matter of fact, Malaysia government has been seriously focused on laws and regulations to the extent of content restriction and limit of creativity on media field. The content codes which have been set up are infused the boundaries of print media, radio, internet and others media that actually making too much guidelines for them to follow.

For example, there was a case that a journalist from Malaysia’s National Union insists “that newspapers be allowed to regulate themselves through an independent media council that will ensure ethical journalism.” (Boo, 2011) Personally I think the government should have give some space for the journalist to regulate themselves especially on what kind of issues needed to be interfere or not to be interfere. Hence, this could be a win-win situation for the journalist and government to decrease disputation and also beneficial for them to know how to disseminate the news to the public in a right time with right words. To conclude, I think certain issues have to be controlled by certain regulation could minimize the risk of society in chaos situation. Hence, media regulation or self-regulation has its advantage and disadvantage upon specific issues. 


Alsagoff, SA, Abdullah, Z & Hassan, MS 2011, ‘The growth and development of the Malaysian media landscape in shaping media regulation’, Global Media Journal – Malaysian Edition, vol.1, no.1, pp32-55.

BOO, SL 2011, ‘Journalist union insists on self-regulation’,The Malaysian Insider, 16 May, viewed 3 April 2013,

Ramanathan, S, Ivan, LSC & Kaur, K n.d., ‘Media Regulation, Re-regulation and Self Regulation in Malaysia and Singapore: A Comparative Analysis of Current Status, Needs and Trends’, viewed 3 April 2013,

The Communication & Multimedia Content Forum of Malaysia 2011, viewed 3 April 2013,