The “Weaponisation of Communication”: Chatting with digitally savvy MP Baey Yam Keng

Image by Joseph Mucira from Pixabay

Bertrand Teo is the author of “Navigating Disruption: Media Relations in the Digital Age”. The book tells the digital transformation story of legacy newsrooms in Singapore, and the rise of digital media players. Bertrand recently appeared on a live chat session with Senior Parliamentary Secretary and MP Baey Yam Keng, where he shared more about the book publishing experience. This is his account.

The decline in traditional newsroom operations has left the world in a precarious position. This is because consumers are increasing looking for information from independent content creators, citizen journalists, influencers, and online forums; sources that could be manipulated by organised groups up to no good.

This topic of the “weaponisation of communications” was raised during my chat with MP Baey Yam Keng. One case study I cited was the Cambridge Analytica story, where organised groups used social media to sway election outcomes in the US and elsewhere.

The lesson we agreed on was: Always review multiple sources of information and be aware of manipulation.

‘Live Chat with BYK’ is a community engagement initiative by MP Mr Baey Yam Keng, to connect with constituents and the public in general. Mr Baey is one of the most digitally-savvy Singapore politicians. He has a following of 35.3K followers on Instagram. The ‘Live Chat’ initiative allows him to reach a younger audience that is active on Instagram, and to leverage the ‘live’ function that is being priortised by Instagram’s parent, Facebook.

Over the past few sessions, Mr Baey has chatted with a variety of people from interesting backgrounds: athletes, an LGBT teen, and community volunteers, among others. I was Mr Baey’s latest guest. We met during his house visit, where I shared about my newly released book. I subsequently followed up with an email to Mr Baey with more information on the book, and he invited to come on the live chat to talk about my writing experience.

Our 40-minute conversation went beyond the agreed scope, which is great because we delved into many areas such as:

  • Skills needed for digital storytellers
  • Media bias
  • The book publishing process

With each phase of advancement in information technology, communication professionals are one of the first to learn to adapt because it’s their bread-and-butter to engage target audiences.

For aspiring authors and those who prefer the good old book, I shared about my publishing journey and why I decided to write a book:

Watch the full interview on Mr Baey’s Instagram handle: @baeyyamkeng

“Navigating Disruption” is available at major bookstores and online: