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Observing Malaysian Social Media

Archive for May 2015

Opinion Analysis on Nur Fitri by Twitter Users in Malaysia

1. Background

On May 1st news broke online of the conviction of Nur Fitri Azmeer Nordin, a 23 year-old Malaysian studying at Imperial College in London, for possession, distribution and production of child pornography in the UK.

Nur Fitri was arrested in a raid on his home in November 2014. UK police found more than 30,000 images and videos of child pornography along with a life-sized mannequin of a young boy. He was studying there on a scholarship given by Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) [1].

On April 30th, MARA terminated the scholarship. However on May 5th news reports circulated saying that MARA would give him a second chance [2].

This prompted backlash against MARA online in the form of hashtag-driven campaigns, #NoSecondChance and #KeepPaedophilesAwayFromOurKids. The goal of the campaign was to deny a second chance at a scholarship for Nur Fitri, however it is clear that some users misunderstood ‘second chance’ to mean forgiving him and/or letting him go free and return to Malaysia.

Once #NoSecondChance trended in Malaysia, users who were unaware of the campaign started using it for other reasons e.g. referring to not giving ex-boyfriends a second chance; or retaking exams.

There were also rumours online of Malaysians taking pity on Nur Fitri; seeing his activities as harmless because ‘there is no victim’; and users equating child pornography with adult pornography, and therefore harmless.

2. Our Analysis

We performed opinion-based analysis on 421 users based in Malaysia who tweeted about Nur Fitri, #NoSecondChance and related terms from May 1st – May 13th 2015. The margin of error is +/- 4.78%.

Users were selected based on their tweet content and activity during this period. Sampling was done per-state based on the current estimated user population.

Spammers, news agencies and accounts with automated tweets were not included in the sample. Users talking solely about other issues (e.g. the cause of paedophilia) or using #NoSecondChance to refer to unrelated issues were also excluded.

From this dataset we analysed the individual Twitter user timelines to determine their opinion. This took their tweets, retweets and conversations into account.

Our goal was to gauge public opinion by Malaysian users on Nur Fitri, specifically how forgiving they were and whether they supported proposals that he be given a ‘second chance’.

Based on this analysis we categorised users as belonging to one of the following categories:

  1. Give Him a Second Chance
  2. Treat Him First
  3. Don’t Give Him a Second Chance
  4. Don’t Forgive Him / Keep Him Imprisoned
  5. Other Negative Remarks
  6. Uncategorised (No Opinion / Other Opinions)

Uncategorised opinions are from users who have no clear opinion that matched the criteria of the other stated categories. The results are shown in the chart below.
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Written by politweet

May 19, 2015 at 5:43 pm

Popular Tweets About Mary Jane Veloso, April 25th – 30th

Mary Jane Veloso was part a group of drug traffickers and smugglers who were to be executed on April 29th 2015. Mary, a Filipino woman, was arrested in Indonesia on April 25th 2010 for alleged possession of 2.6 kilograms of heroin.

On October 11th, 2010 she was given the death penalty. After many appeals, in March 2015 a petition to save Mary Jane (using the hashtag #SaveMaryJane) started in the Philippines. She was subsequently handed a Notice of Execution on April 25th 2015.

On April 29th she was granted a stay of her execution. Eight other prisoners (including 2 members of the Bali 9 group, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran) were executed by firing squad that same day.

We collected tweets about Mary Jane Veloso, the #SaveMaryJane campaign and the #MaryJaneLives response from April 25th – April 30th 2015 (UTC+8 Malaysian Standard Time). What follows is a summary of popularly shared content and the network of users tweeting about the topic.

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Written by politweet

May 7, 2015 at 1:50 am