Balkanization is best refers to online segregation which mean the segregation of people on the Internet, often believed to be a democratizing tool used to bring equality among people. Another term use to describe it is the splinternet. Splinternet also referred to as cyber-balkanization or internet balkanization. The internet splinter and divide people according to various factors, such as technology, commerce, politics, nationalism, religion, and interests.

As the internet has become the open and free medium for the public to speak out, many opinion are being give out thus creating so many ideologies which are then segregates the community to its own group according to their beliefs. This new community stands out to defend their beliefs.

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In my opinion, the possible factor of cyber balkanization can be because of the limitation of information people can get from the mainstream media as the mainstream media are being restricted through the ownership and law enacted. Dr. Rahmat Ghazali in his article, ‘Cyber-balkanization, distracts national integration’ in Suaramurba stated that;

Emphasizing for more liberal media landscape, Internet users could customize, filter and select new stories and information that they seek for. Such stance is impossible through any of the traditional media. As for instance newspaper readers have no choice in news selection; whatever is published would be the only selection that they have. Similar situation is seen when radio listeners or TV viewers as well as other traditional media audience attain news and information. Startlingly the Internet provides them the liberty to select, filter, and customize news and information from massive and huge archives to satisfy their needs and wants.

Cyber balkanization in negative side does harm the spirit of 1 Malaysia in terms that community is divided according to their political ideology. For example, the government supporters would highly support the concept of 1 Malaysia which has been introduced by Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak. However, things would be different for the opposition’s supporters.

However, if we look on the positive aspect, cyber balkanization can unite a group with the same interest. If the interest is positive, consequently the balkanization can lead to a spirit of cooperation. Balkanization created a colony of opposite thinking of the mainstream beliefs which can set the community free from the entire typical scenario.

In my opinion, balkanization does not necessarily means the ‘colony’ is against every policy the government has made. It can be that the ‘colony’ are not supporting because they believe, there are more important or better things the government can do to improvise the administration for example the movement for a fair and free election or an anti-corruption movement. By sharing the thoughts to the ‘colony’ of the same beliefs, they can actually make some cooperation for national integration.


For communities of color, the Internet provides us with a unique opportunity to speak for ourselves without first seeking approval or permission or having to secure major funds to do so (Cyril, 2009).


Reference

Cyril, M. A. (2009, December 1). Huffing Post Media. Retrieved 2014 Monday, 2014, from Huffingtonpost: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/malkia-a-cyril/the-internet-must-not-bec_b_375942.html
 

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