So if you haven’t heard already, please come out of your coconut shell. This one single incident didn’t just garner attention from influential twitterers who follow @fahmi_fadzil. Yes, most of the Malaysian newspapers covered it but not until this morning. Yesterday, it became a global phenomenon as soon as he (@fahmi_fadzil) tweeted one of the hundred apology tweets he is instructed to do thanks to the lawyers at Blu Inc, a few months after making a few irresponsible tweets accusing them of not treating his pregnant friend well and allegedly forced her to resigned.
This to me is a really unprecedented move. I tweeted immediately as a response, and the best part is… it got picked up by the Associated Press. From there, popular tech websites, major news portals and pundits globally took an interest on it, and Malaysia is once more found itself on the map of the world (though at least this time, for a better reason)
Herein lies the question – Did Blu Inc, in their move to settle for a public apology in this manner, expected this to happen? Did they forget that in social media, the old rules and ancient laws does not apply? (This method is akin to punishing a child in their school days, writing a sentence a hundred times to learn their mistake. Remember Harry Potter and Dolores Umbridge?) Or could it be that they needed the coverage. In other words, was this a planned strategy to begin with?
Well, if they didn’t expect this to be worth more than, say, a full page on theStar newspaper with his apology statement, they can never be more wrong. I’ve basically recorded a list of papers who either picked up the news from AP and published them per se, and some others who’ve made their own analysis, matching the situation back to a similar case of defamation over social media in their respective countries, closer to home. The list includes global publications such as Forbes, Bloomberg Business Week, Times of India, Guardian, BBC, Telegraph, CNBC, China Daily and more. On the tech side, popular portals such as The Huffington Post, The Next Web, Wired, Slashdot and Gizmodo covered it.
That’s just to give you a snapshot of the type of coverage we’re looking at. Others that I’ve tracked are link given below.
http://www.penn-olson.com/2011/06/02/100-apology-tweets-for-defamation/ Government Orders Twitter User To Tweet 100 Apologies for Defamation < say what?!