Trend & Insights

Social disruption: the blurring line between social media and traditional media

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Social media platforms have recently come under fire for facilitating the spread of misleading news via their many users. Last week, Facebook and Google announced they will block sites that post misleading news articles from using the platforms’ ad tools. Twitter also announced it will allow users the option to block notifications of Tweets that include specific words to help combat trolling. But where do we draw the line between these positive restrictions and freedom of speech?

Join us for an open discussion about the challenges and benefits that social media is bringing to Asia-based brands and individuals with our two guest speakers:

Ewan RossArea Director for Greater China, Meltwater
In his capacity as Area Director for Greater China, Ewan currently heads up Meltwater’s offices in Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong, overseeing business development and operations in the region. Ewan’s diverse career with the organisation began in Edinburgh in 2009 where he was promoted to Manager, seven months after joining the company as a Consultant.

Subsequently, Ewan was transferred to Cape Town witnessing the growth of the thriving African market. In one year, Ewan fast-tracked to the Managing Director position and was tasked with developing a new division in India. Within a year in New Delhi, he successfully built an eight-person team from scratch while developing new product and recruitment strategies to drive the team’s business goals.

In his career across continents, Ewan has witnessed the disruption of social media, and the growing importance of media intelligence in the digital age. His wealth of experience in emerging markets has enabled Meltwater’s rapid growth in Greater China, especially with China’s evolution as an online powerhouse. He is dedicated to help clients in the region to establish a competitive edge in their respective markets with the use of data analytics.

London born, Scottish-bred, Ewan has a Masters in Economics and Economic History from the University of Edinburgh.

Ali BullockSocial Media Expert and Writer
Ali is widely recognised in Asia as an expert in building and managing brands on social media. From brand engagement and storytelling to crisis communications, he has built his career up from the earliest days of the most basic websites to the modern day real time challenges of working in the constantly connected world. His experience in social has resulted in successful campaigns for some of the world’s biggest and best known brands. From cars to airlines, media to mobile phones his work has helped brands navigate the social media landscape. Previous campaigns include Cathay Pacific’s “Round The World in 80 Days, The Wall Street Journal’s “Asian Social Media Speaking Series” as well as Earth Hour for WWF.

Outside of his full time role in the Formula One world, Ali splits his time between looking after his 5 rescue dogs, and his pro-bono photography work on charity projects. His work with rescued and endangered animals has been featured in numerous publications from the SCMP to National Geographic, The Guardian and the Sunday Telegraph as as well as CNN and the BBC.

To read more about his talks on social media or to look at his photos please visit: or find him on LinkedIn or Instagram @alibullock

Discussion points:

  • Where do we draw the line between freedom of speech and restriction?
  • Do we really want social platforms to dictate our news?
  • Should Facebook, Twitter and other platforms be taking more responsibility for the content shared on their sites?
  • Google and Facebook examples of cutting ad revenue to sites pushing ‘fake news’
  • Comment moderation, good or bad?
  • Organisations need total clarity on where their brand is getting exposure across both social media and online news, be it positive or negative.

Date: Thursday 1st December 2016
Time: 7-9pm
Location: theDesk Hong Kong
Moderator: Oscar Venhuis

This is a private event with limited seats. RSVP on

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