Barisan Nasional accuses Pakatan Harapan of buying Facebook viewers for live streams

Umno Youth deputy chief Khairul Azwan Harun (left) and Barisan Nasional Strategic Communications deputy director Datuk Eric See-To allege opposition alliance Pakatan Harapan has manipulated its Facebook live stream numbers.
YouTube/The Star Online

Barisan Nasional has called out Pakatan Harapan for manipulating its social media statistics.

At a press conference on Monday (May 7), Umno Youth deputy chief Khairul Azwan Harun said foreign intervention which ultimately influenced election results is common overseas.

Referring to some of the unusually high number of viewers on Pakatan Harapan’s live Facebook streams, he said an audience of 200,000 can be easily purchased for RM600,000 ($152,000) and the authorities must look into the matter.

Barisan Nasional strategic communications deputy director Datuk Eric See-To, who was also at the press conference, proceeded to show examples where the same stream that was broadcasted across three or four different channels all had exactly the same number of viewers on each video.

Citing Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir’s ceramah in Jerlun on Saturday (May 5) which was streamed across three Pakatan Harapan supporters’ Facebook pages, Datuk See-To said: “Before Datuk Mukhriz went on stage, the feed already had 14,000 viewers watching a microphone that was buzzing.”

He added: “We don’t want the public to get so caught up by all the social media ‘likes’ and we want to raise awareness that there is a manipulation of the system… There’s buying of viewers and we don’t want the public to have the wrong impression.”