He was painstaking. Respectful. Patient.
He sat alongside his interview subjects with his notebook open, asking questions, probing slowly but steadily, exploring, in minute detail, the personal and intimate.
In Indonesia – Southeast Asia’s largest economy, with a population of 265 million – Facebook is faced with an unexpected dead end. After 12 years of super-charged global growth, the tech champion with a US$414 billion market cap that began life on university campuses has become the social media of choice for “old” people. Indeed, it appears to be losing its allure among its core demographic: the young, educated and upwardly mobile. In fact, many younger users have just stopped logging in.
After a five-year wait, the Thais are clearly desperate to exercise their democratic rights and Prayuth’s interventions are not going to stop them. General Prayuth needs to realise that a genuine mandate cannot be “manufactured”. Relying on the fear and apathy of ordinary Thais could well engender a massive popular backlash.