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Jakarta Post

Anger towards Yudhoyono simmers on Twitter

  • The Jakarta Post

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, September 30, 2014   /  10:36 am

The hashtag, #ShameByYouAgainSBY, created by Twitter users angered by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono'€™s decision to permit the scrapping of direct local elections, popped up the popular micro-blogging site in Monday'€™s pre-dawn hours, following the sudden disappearance on Saturday of a previous hashtag critical of the President, #ShameOnYouSBY.

Since then, Twitter users have created the hashtag #SukaBohongYa, another apparent swipe at Yudhoyono, who is slated to leave office on Oct. 20.

Many Indonesians believe the President lied when he allowed Democratic Party lawmakers to walk out of a plenary session on the Regional Elections Bill at the House of Representatives early Friday morning, a move that precipitated the reinstatement of the Soeharto-era practice of indirect elections of regional heads by revesting that power with regional legislative councils (DPRDs) rather than with individual citizens.

In the days leading up to the vote, Yudhoyono had made numerous public statements declaring his support of direct elections for local heads.

Like #ShameOnYouSBY, #ShamedByYouAgainSBY began trending on Twitter after being launched on Monday morning. As of 6:40 a.m., 40,025 Twitter users had tweeted using the hashtag.

'€œEverybody knew you'€™re a liar, SBY #ShameOnYouSBY. #ShamedByYouAgainSBY #SukaBohongYa,'€ wrote one Twitter user using the handle, @BeritaOKU.

The hashtag #ShameOnYouSBY mysteriously disappeared on Saturday evening after becoming the world'€™s most popular Twitter hashtag, outdoing the #savespongebob hashtag, which was created by Indonesian Twitter users to criticize the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission'€™s (KPI) decision to ban broadcasts of the popular cartoon show Spongebob Squarepants on local television stations.

Many Twitter users have blamed the site'€™s content-withholding policy for the disappearance. The policy permits the site to filter content if an official request is filed by a government or law-enforcement institution.

Twitter, in an official statement made available to The Jakarta Post on Sunday, said that during the first half of 2014, the Indonesian government had made zero requests for account information and zero requests for content removal.

In a new statement made available to the Post on Monday, the social media giant said that it was only natural for #ShameOnYouSBY to disappear, as users were no longer using the hashtag with the same frequency by Saturday evening.

'€œThe Reverb Chart for September 26 to 28 clearly shows that the hashtag was being used less [frequently] by Saturday evening Sep. 27, as you can tell by the downslope or valley. This is why the hashtag disappeared from Trends,'€ the statement read.

Twitter maintained once again that there had never been a request to remove the hashtag.

'€œ[It was} not due to particular requests to remove it. Trending topics are determined by an algorithm measuring the velocity of Tweets about a topic, not its overall popularity,'€ the statement said.

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