Niki Cheong (he/him) is Lecturer in Digital Culture and Society at the Department of Digital Humanities. He completed his PhD at the University of Nottingham, UK, in 2020, where he researched the practices by political actors in Malaysia engaging in the online manipulation of information, known as cybertroopers. For this work, he received the 2021 Best Dissertation Award from the Association of Internet Researchers.
Niki is broadly interested in the everyday navigation of (political) information in online spaces, with a focus on disinformation, digital practices, and digital citizenship. Currently, he is researching how popular culture is weaponised on WhatsApp in Malaysia and Singapore (funded by the Facebook Integrity Foundational Research Award). He is also part of a UNESCO-funded research project mapping online resources for LGBTI+ youth and other young key populations in the Asia-Pacific region.
Niki has previously taught at the University of Nottingham (both in the UK and Malaysia), Coventry University and Monash University Malaysia. He was formerly editor of digital journalism platform R.AGE, which is a part of Malaysia’s largest English-language newspaper, The Star.
You can view his website here.
Research interests and PhD supervision
- Mis/disinformation studies
- Cybertrooping and state-linked manipulation of online information
- Political communication and social movements in Southeast Asia
- Media and journalism systems in Southeast Asia
- Everyday digital practices on social media and messaging apps
Johns, A. and Cheong, N. (Forthcoming). “The conspiratorial logics of WhatsApp: from safe spaces to paranoid publics”. Continuum.
Cheong, N. (Forthcoming). “Internet-led Political Journalism: Challenging hybrid regime resilience in Malaysia”. In Morrison, J., Birks, J., and Berry, M. (Eds), Routledge Companion to Political Journalism, Routledge.
Cheong, N. (2020). "Malaysia: Disinformation as a response to the ‘opposition playground’". in Sinpeng, A. and Tapsell, R. (Eds), From Grassroots Activism to Disinformation: Social Media in Southeast Asia, ISEAS Publishing: Singapore
Johns, A. and Cheong, N. (2019). “Feeling the chill: Bersih 2.0, state surveillance and ‘networked affect’ on Malaysian social media 2012-2018”. Social Media + Society.