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Jakarta Post

Indonesian government in hot water for using buzzers to promote policies

  • Marchio Irfan Gorbiano and Galih Gumelar

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, September 9, 2020   /  08:31 am
The Jakarta Post Image
The Twitter logo is displayed on computers' screens.(AFP/Loic Venance )

Activists and political experts have raised concerns over the growing prominence of so-called social media buzzers hired to engage in campaigning government policies.   The issue drew public attention after a number of influencers with large social media followings began posting content supporting the controversial job creation bill by using the hashtag #IndonesiaButuhKerja (#IndonesiaNeedsJobs). Three of them — radio host Gofar Hilman and musicians Ardhito Pramono and Aditya Fadillah — later apologized for endorsing the bill. Indonesian Anti-Slander Society (Mafindo) committee member Anita Wahid said the heavy use of influencers to sway public opinion on controversial government policies while also drowning out dissenting opinions was among the latest methods in silencing criticism against the government. Other strategies include the use of automated ...