The Jakarta gubernatorial election, held earlier this year, was perhaps the most divisive and bitterly fought campaign seen in modern Indonesian politics. Social media and the internet played a large role in the campaign, which was characterised by racism and sectarianism. But how much can we blame the internet for the bitterness of the campaign and how much is it explained by Indonesia’s conservative turn more generally? How did technology impact on this election? Are we seeing a new platform for organisation and political activism in Indonesia, based on a freedom to hate?
In this week’s podcast, Dr Jemma Purdey explores these questions with Associate Professor Merlyna Lim from Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. Her research and teaching interests revolve around the political and cultural implications of media and technology. Her most recent article is “Freedom to Hate: Social Media, Algorithmic Enclaves, and the Rise of Tribal Nationalism in Indonesia”, published in Critical Asian Studies.
In 2017, the Talking Indonesia podcast is co-hosted by Dr Jemma Purdey from Monash University, Dr Dave McRae from the University of Melbourne’s Asia Institute, Dr Charlotte Setijadi from the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore, and Dr Dirk Tomsa from La Trobe University.
Image by Andreas Atmoko for Antara.