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Telenor: Malaysians love trolling, spreading false rumors, spend an average 4.18 hours online

According to a recent finding by Telenor Group, the top five most annoying things Malaysians do on the Internet are (1) trolling: 51%; (2) spreading false rumors: 47% (3) using profanity: 39%; (4) sharing inappropriate content: 37%; (5) inviting people to play online games: 17%.


Digi is Telenor’s local business unit in Malaysia. Telenor said that Malaysians on average spend 4.18 hours online for personal reasons. In an effort to learn more about their customers in their commitment to provide a “positive digital future for all”, Telenor conducted the internet behavioral survey across Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and India.

The study was undertaken by Penn Schoen Berland in Singapore and surveyed 401 people across Malaysia (100), India (100), Thailand (101), and Singapore (100).

The results reveal that Asia is unified in many aspects; but additionally illustrate unique country-specific differences. For example, net profanity in Malaysia scored a high ‘annoyance’ score of 39%, whereas India and Singapore reported being far less annoyed by virtual world expletives, with only 4% and 7% respectively reporting the behavior to be annoying.

Malaysian online users were characterized by the findings as being nice and “not naughty”. Malaysians ranked the lowest against the region when sharing inappropriate content: 1%; and soliciting for donations online: 2%.

When asked which online annoying behaviors respondents have personally engaged in themselves, Malaysians admitted to (1) posting pictures of food: 36%; (2) inviting people to play online games: 26%;(3) and poor spelling and grammar: 18%. And while women regionally overall were more likely to post pictures of food (31% versus 23% for men), both genders were equally at fault of being negligent of their spelling and grammar – 14% equally.

Gender breakdowns also revealed behavioral nuances and potential correlations in behavior. Two-thirds of respondents admitting to excessively posting selfies on the net were female, whereas the majority of respondents who merely scroll through their Facebook timelines but don’t post updates are male.

Per the Telenor survey, a majority of people in all countries, 67%, agree that they access the internet very regularly. But Malaysians showed a slightly different attitude to internet use by having the lowest percentage at 56%, versus 80% in Thailand. While both the majority of men and women agreed with the statement, slightly more females surveyed felt a stronger desire to go online for personal reasons than their male counterparts.

Females surveyed reportedly spend more time online than men with 21% spending two hours online per day for personal reasons–equating to a 730 hours per year. Conversely, men reportedly access the internet more regularly than females with 89% accessing it ‘many times a day outside of work purposes’.

Despite internet annoyances, the survey also found that 82% of Malaysians say the internet has improved their lives, and 81% of respondents stated that social media in Malaysia has helped them to strengthen relationships with friends and family.

In terms of curbing perceived annoying behavior, the survey reveals people believe it requires a combination of self-control and parental intervention. And markedly, more than the other three markets, 37% of Malaysians feel that online behavior is the responsibility of parents who need to talk to their children about the internet, against the 31% regional average.

“With Telenor’s strategy of Internet for All and goal of achieving 200 million active internet users by 2017, we will see many first-time internet users in Malaysia and Asia over the coming years. As more people access the internet it will be interesting to see how netiquette evolves, just as the world does. As for selfies and cat pictures – I suspect there may be many more years of that,” says Karianne Melleby, VP Head of Global Partnerships, Telenor Digital AS.


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