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Jakarta Post

Indonesia holds first ever social media election: Twitter

  • The Jakarta Post

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, July 14, 2014   /  09:44 pm

The presence of more than 52 million young voters, who are mostly tech-savvy, made the Wednesday presidential election the country'€™s first ever '€œTwitter Election,'€ the social media giant said on Wednesday.

San Fransisco-based Twitter said in a statement that political parties and politicians relied on social networking sites such as Twitter to engage youth voters more than in previous elections.

'€œFrom the start of the year to today, this truly has been the first-ever '€˜Twitter Election'€™,'€ the social media company said in a statement made available to The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.

Twitter said that in Indonesia, which now ranks fifth in top Twitter user markets worldwide, more than 30 percent of the total number of 190.2 million voters were first-time voters between the age of 18 and 23 years old.

In Twitter'€™s own analysis of conversations taking place on the site between June 4 and July 9, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle'€™s (PDI-P) presidential candidate Joko '€œJokowi'€ Widodo took first place in the 10 most-mentioned topics during the election campaign.

The Gerindra Party'€™s presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto came in second place, followed by outgoing President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

The analysis also showed that the economy and corruption topped the 10 most-discussed election topics on Twitter. Education came in third, based on the survey.

Twitter also keeps records of how presidential candidates engaged with voters during the election.

Jokowi was the most-followed presidential candidate on Twitter, with his Twitter account @jokowi_do2 amassing 1.74 million followers as of July 9, a significant increase of 76 percent from the number of 755,000 followers at the start of the year.

Prabowo, with his @prabowo08 account, also saw a significant jump in his number of followers, from 531,000 at the start of this year to 1 million as of July 9, an increase of 110 percent.

Both Prabowo and Jokowi also have their fair share of devoted followers on Twitter, as indicated by the number of retweets that they received.

Jokowi'€™s post-ballot tweet '€œIt is time for this nation to change. See you at the polling station. God is with us, respect. #Jokowi9Juli'€ got 8,256 retweets, while Prabowo'€™s pre-ballot prayer '€œIn the name of Allah, the beneficent and the merciful'€ was retweeted 8,868 times.

In the lead-up to the Wednesday presidential election, social media was abuzz with users debating their preferred candidates, especially on Twitter and Facebook.

On Tuesday, the eve of the ballot, #KeepCalmAndVoteJokowi came in second place in the top five trending topics worldwide on Twitter. In third position was #AnakMudaPilihJokowiJK.

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