What does the 1965 violence have to do with Ratna Sarumpaet? Hellena Souisa examines two incidents that demonstrate how serious the problem of hoaxes has become for Indonesian politics.

How does Indonesia regulate pornography, how have its anti-pornography laws been applied? How do debates over pornography reflect broader questions of morality and Islam in Indonesian society? Dr Dave McRae explores these questions and more with Dr Helen Pausacker in the latest Talking Indonesia podcast.

Many Indonesians are concerned about the damage that hoaxes and so-called “fake news” are doing to social cohesion. Professor Ariel Heryanto writes that it is difficult to find a more powerful hoax than the story of the 30 September Movement, which has provided the basis for numerous other nonsensical and dangerous hoaxes.

Indonesia at Melbourne will again be taking a short break over Christmas and New Year. In this final post for 2017, we look back at the analysis and commentary featured on the blog and podcast throughout the year. Thanks again for your loyal readership and support, and we look forward to seeing you again mid-January.

Blogger and provocateur Jonru has finally been called to account, arrested for hate speech on 29 September.
Muninggar Sri Saraswati takes a look at the controversial social media star, examining how he became such an influential figure and what his arrest might mean ahead of the 2019 elections.

Given the partisan nature of most mainstream media, many Indonesians are now turning to alternative online sources, many of which encourage sectarianism. Dr Ross Tapsell writes that Indonesia is in dire need of a strong, independent public media that could provide an alternative to privately owned conglomerates and the spread of hoax news and disinformation.

What role did the internet play in the divisive Jakarta gubernatorial campaign? To what extent can the bitterness of the campaign be explained by Indonesia’s conservative turn more generally? Dr Jemma Purdey explores these questions and more with Associate Professor Merlyna Lim in the Talking Indonesia podcast.

The government recently announced it was blocking messaging application Telegram for providing a forum for extremist propaganda. But Nava Nuraniyah writes that the real reason for the ban may have been to force the tech company to comply with government regulations.

After leading massive protests against former Jakarta Governor Basuki ‘Ahok’ Tjahaja Purnama, the past few months have seen the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) doggedly pursuing individuals who have criticised the organisation online. Sana Jaffrey and Siswo Mulartono look at the significance of this phenomenon and explain why is it likely to continue.

Tempo journalist and founder of the Association of Independent Journalists (AJI), Ahmad Taufik, died on 23 March. Taufik’s friend and colleague, Andreas Harsono, reflects on the life of a courageous journalist, who was sent to prison by the Soeharto regime for his defence of media freedom.

The expansion of the middle class in Indonesia has been accompanied by a rise in Islamic consumerism. Dr Inaya Rakhmani examines dominant narratives in Islamic-themed television programs, writing that the commercialisation of Islam has encouraged ideas and beliefs that aggravate rather than moderate social divisions.

Fake news has become a major concern in Indonesia. But what can be done to address the problem? Is the proliferation of fake news an indication of the increasing polarisation of Indonesian society? Charlotte Setijadi discusses these issues and more with Ignatius Haryanto in the latest episode of Talking Indonesia.