Trends and Trajectories of Online Information Warfare in Three Southeast Asian Countries

Cyber Troops and Organised Propaganda in Southeast Asia Webinar Series

About the Webinar

Online public opinion manipulation with the use of “cyber troops” has become a common political strategy in Southeast Asian countries. However, the nature, scope and level of sophistication and institutionalisation of cyber troop operations differs in each country, reflecting national discourses of conflict and threat and differing state and party capacities to control the discourse. This webinar examines three country cases of online information warfare supporting the interests of the political establishment. Dr Janjira Sombatpoonsiri will talk about “Leveraging information chaos: How Thailand’s institutionalised Information Operations undermine democracy”, examining increasing sophistication as well as outsourcing of military cyber troop operations that target opponents and critics of the state. Mr Dien Nguyen An Luong will examine “How the Vietnamese State uses cyber troops to shape online discourse”, both domestically and increasingly among Vietnamese residing abroad, to strengthen its grip on power. Dr Clarissa Ai Ling Lee will shed light on “Malay exceptionalism as counter-securitization strategy in Malaysian social media”, showing how cyber troops decontextualise and reframe political situations as threats to the Malay dominance. These cases demonstrate that information warfare evolves in specific directions in each Southeast Asian country—both reflecting and inflecting “pre-digital” national political conditions—thus necessitating contextual analyses and responses to the democratic threat posed by cyber troop operations.

About the Speakers

Dr Janjira Sombatpoonsiri, Visiting Fellow, ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute; Assistant Professor Asian studies, Chulalongkorn University.

Mr Dien Nguyen An Luong, Visiting Fellow, ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute.

Dr Clarissa Ai Ling Lee, Senior Lecturer, Drama Department, Universiti Malaya.


This webinar will be delivered online entirely. You can join the webinar at the specified date and time using devices (computer, phone, or tablet) with internet connection.

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If you have questions for the speakers, please key in your questions via the Q&A, stating your name and affiliation. The moderator will field them to the speakers during the Q&A session.


Dec 02 2021


10:00 am - 11:30 am