The current state of the old Nibras Bawa site.
In 2009 this strange character appeared on the Sri Lankan Internet scene, getting angry, flaming, trolling whatever. Then he started naming anonymous bloggers, posting comments as people’s kids, nasty stuff, for which I removed him from Kottu. He also published some plagiarized stuff on Groundviews. He flamed out a bit more then disappeared. Until now. Now he’s back hosting a rather expensive social media event in Colombo, which is a bit ironic, seeing as he was known for being the most anti-social person the blogosphere had seen at the time.
This is what I wrote back then:
Nibras Bawa, however, is a coward. Rather than standing on the strength of his words he chooses to publish peoples names and addresses, threaten them, cry to Johnny Law, leave comments using their kids names, etc.
He is a named person so I’ll address him as such. I think Nibras Bawa is a coward and borderline sociopath. He does not seem to know how to engage with people in a respectful and gentlemanly manner. He also threatens peoples jobs and families and both slanders and libels them. ((indi.ca, 2009)
I think at some point Nibras Bawa claimed that the blog posts and comments weren’t him but I really don’t know. What I do know is that he sent me emails claiming that he was a victim of impersonation in the exact same tone, also cc’ing my parents so as, I suppose, to try and get me in trouble. I dunno. He also commented under different names, used stock photography to represent his family, it was really weird. What I can say is that some Nibras Bawa is back, with the same sort of bile and noxiousness. Here he is on failing to get a sponsorship from Dialog:
An odd-looking guy introduced himself as the person who called me, and introduced me to another corpse-looking (not being mean, but seriously, the guy looked that dull, lazy and sleepy… maybe after a heavy lunch, but he was yawning even when he said hello!) guy and asked me to speak to him… It was annoying, fucking annoying to be blunt, but me being me, I’d like to think I was in control of the situation. I didn’t show I was annoyed nor would I say anything…
Now, here’s the climax, guys! The corpse that met me was a PHP Developer from their Web Team! I hear you say.. hmm.. WTF! Yes, a techie. Now, I’m not insulting that person. Not at all. (Nibras Bawa)
The arrogant and stupid post is ironically titled ‘Arrogance and Stupidity of Dialog Axiata‘. That techie guy he met was Nazly, who people on social media probably know as an organizer of Refresh among other things. He’s also an Assistant Manager at the Web and Portal division, which actually does handle this stuff. Bawa mentions that he’s a programmer like he’s a janitor or something. And he’s not. I’m not sure what’s so offensive about meeting a ‘techie’. Nazly is a highly intelligent guy who, along with Mili, leads the team that put Dialog on the social media map.
Social Media Lessons
So, if you were considering shelling out 20k to learn social media from an organization with less FB fans and Twitter followers than the average Sri Lankan company online, here are some lessons I’ll give you for free.
Number one is don’t be like Nibras Bawa. Social media is social, and flaming out and attacking people personally (calling them corpses, for example) when you don’t get a sponsorship isn’t a recipe for longevity. Sadly, it’s in character for this character, but it’s weird that the man thinks he has enough social capital to do anything public here, let alone ask for money. For those who were online in 2009 Nibras Bawa is a highly memorable troll, but let’s just measure him by what he’s said today.
If you don’t get a sponsorship or something, that’s not a reason to attack a company. If you attack the company by attacking their employees personally, it’s unlikely that readers will take you seriously. It’s also extremely unbecoming and no corporate should consider having such a loose cannon represent them online or anywhere else. I can’t speak for the other presenters at EngageLK, but the organizer is not someone to learn anything from.
The basic rule of social media is to be social. That’s it. Don’t be rude, don’t lose your temper, and share information in a friendly way. The only thing you can really learn from Nibras Bawa is how not to behave, and you don’t need to pay thousands of rupees for that.