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Twitter’s Role in Enforcing Integrity in Indonesia - Syafiq B Assegaff, April 2013


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Seminar paper on Integrity. This preliminary research by Jakarta's Paramadina University lecturer showed that the role of Social Media, such as Twitter, in Indonesia has changed the communication between politicians and public. Actions by Indonesian public (Netizens) have urged politicians from the president to governor, as well as business executives -- regardless they like it or not -- to be more transparent and embrace integrity in their actions. In short, due to its function in empowering the public, the New Media has played big roles in enforcing integrity in Indonesia.

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Twitter’s Role in Enforcing Integrity in Indonesia - Syafiq B Assegaff, April 2013

  1. 1. Topic: Integrity and Ethical Issues in Communication MediaWhat are the challenges of the integrity enforcement in New Media Communication? Twitter’s Role in Enforcing Integrity in Indonesia1 Syafiq Basri Assegaff Paramadina University, Jakarta, Indonesia This is a draft, the researcher still working on this and welcomes advices and inputs.AbstractNew Media lately proved itself as a very powerful tool in enforcing integrity in Indonesia’s socio-politicalagenda. Last October 2012, when Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) addressedthe nation over the confrontation between the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) and theIndonesian National Police, he credited Social Media as a means to gauge public opinion. SocialMedia, especially Twitter, has been the loudest in voicing demands for Yudhoyono to interfere in theconfrontation. President’s statement showed that the government has listened to the online aspirationsof the people.However, ever since the ‘Arab Spring revolution’ there has not much been written about the role ofSocial Media communication in Indonesia’s socio-political arena. This fact becomes one of the reasonswhy the researcher thinks it is an important communication issue to be studied.The other reason is related to Indonesia itself, as it is a relatively ‘new’ democratic country where its’citizens currently use various kind of Social Media applications for their dailiy activities. As one of thenew emerging markets, Indonesia’s Twitter users has reached around 30 million, making the countrythe fifth Twitter users in the world, after the USA, Brazil, Japan and UK. Around 55 million netizens inIndonesia share their experience with each others, ask, and recommend various topics and brands inNew Media, enjoying themselves the era of ‘democratization of media’ which allow them to bringpowerful and more meaningful communication, or ‘conversation’.Methode: Using participatory observational approach, this preliminary descriptive collerational studydiscussed how Twitter particularly, and generally other Social Media applications such Facebook andblogs, could affect Indonesia’s decision makers (ie. politicians) daily activities, and how it enforced theirintegrity.Findings: The research showed that the role of Social Media, such as blogs and online portals with thebig help of Twitter, in Indonesia has changed the communication between politicians (or brands) andtheir publics, especially Indonesia’s Netizens. Actions by Indonesian publics (Netizens) showed thatSocial Media has urged politicians from the president to governor, as well as business executives,regardless they like it or not, to be more transparant and embrace integrity in their actions. In short, dueto its function in empowering the publics, the New Media has played big roles in enforcing integrity inIndonesia.Keywords: New Media, Twitter, Integrity, People’s Power, Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).1 Paper, presented in the ASEAN Conference: Educating ASEAN Societies for Integrity, “The Role of Educators & Students inBuilding Integrity”, organized by Integrity Action, in Jakarta, Indonesia, 2-3 April 2013.
  2. 2. I. Introduction.In the year 2012 the New Media, also popular as Social Media, demonstrated itself as a very powerfultool in enforcing integrity in Indonesia’s socio-political agenda. Last October 2012, IndonesianPresident Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) addressed the nation over the standoff between theCorruption Eradication Commission (KPK) and the Indonesian National Police. In his speech thepresident credited Social Media as an important method to evaluate and appraise public opinion.Among other Social Media tools, the popular microblogging site Twitter has been the loudest in voicingdemands for Yudhoyono to interfere in the confrontation. President’s statement showed that thegovernment has listened to the online aspirations of the people.Through codes such as #SaveKPK (a hashtag which plead to support the Corruption EradicationCommission or KPK), users sent messages ranging from contemptuous comments in Twitter, rallycalls, petition signing invitations, to form a human chain at the KPK headquarters to making derisivecomments about Mr. Yudhoyono. President’s statement showed that the government has listened tothe online aspirations of the people. During the first week of October only the hashtag #SaveKPKreached not less than 9 million Internet users2.Those actions mainly promoted by prominent public figures, ranging from a university rector, IndonesiaCorruption Watch (ICW) activitist to the daughters of Indonesia’s former president.Mirroring the ‘The Arab Spring’ revolutions, those actions by Indonesian Netizens showed that NewMedia has changed everything in our life, and that it has changed the communication betweenpoliticians (or brands) and their publics. Social Media showed that communications have been twoways and horizontally, urging everyone from politicians to business executives, regardless they like it ornot, to be more transparant and embrace integrity in their actions.Social Media showed that communications have been two ways and horizontally. Public perceptionsover a brand are determined by their experience sharing about the brands, and not determined by it’s2 The Jakarta Post, 10 October 2012 ( ), accessed on 10 November 2012
  3. 3. promotion material and advertising anymore. The same applies to a prominent figure or a politician,their publics will perceive him/her according to their experience with the particular person, and does notbased on his/her propaganda nor his/her talks, promises or ‘lip services’.As shown by the Indonesia’s case – where Social Media plays huge role – publics now share anddiscuss everything in Social Media. As one of the new emerging markets with more than 230 millionpopulation3, Indonesia’s netizen as of December 2011 reached more than 55 million people4. By June2012, Internet penetration in Indonesia has achieved to 20,1 % of its population.When last November 2011 it was estimated that almost 41 million Internet users in Indonesia activelysocializing theirselves on top Social Media Networks5, last October (2012) the number has risen muchmore. Recent statistics (from showed that almost 50 million users Facebook areIndonesians, making the country the forth biggest Facebook users, after USA, Brazil and India6. Withalmost 30 million users, Indonesia is now the fifth Twitter users in the world, after the USA, Brazil,Japan and UK, while the capital (Jakarta) is the most-active city in the world posting tweets7.These people as well as hundreds of million netizens (including 500 million Twitter registered users) inthe world share their experience with each others, ask, and recommend a brand (or brands) in SocialMedia. We now reach an era of democratization of media, where we must observe and measurespublics’ or audiences’ perceptions upon brands in Social Media.As stated above, when the ‘brand’ is a prominent figure, government decision maker or a politician,then he or she has to be aware and understand that there are million netizens converse, ask on andask about, as well as recommend him or her in their Social Media applications such as Twitter,Facebook, Youtube, blogs and LinkedIn. Now, in the time when media is being democratized, thepoliticians and government figures ideally should be more ethical and transparant in their daily duties3 - accessed on 25 November 20124 - accessed on 25 November 20125 -- accessed on 26 November 20126 accessed on 29 November 20127 accessed on 29 November 2012
  4. 4. and activities, because people get easier and faster tools to scrutinize and watch them through SocialMedia.In light of events in Indonesia and the question of whether Social Media will play a greater role ininfluencing the country’s policians and government decision makers’ dailiy activities, the researcher ispublishing this summary of the early findings about how Twitter, as one of the most popular SocialMedia used in Indonesia, will affect people’s empowerment. Understandably when it happens, thepoeople’s power will enforce integrity among politicians or government decision makers.The information for this study was collected through documentary research on Twitter and its usersprotest movements between October 2012 and early December 2012, and by way of participation withSocial Media applications – particularly blog, online portal collector (or hub) and Twitter – on Jakarta’sgovernor election campaign in September 2012 which was followed up through the end of November2012.While this research is ongoing, the information to date provides useful insights into a phenomenon that,to the best of researcher’s knowledge, received little attention until Indonesia’s President (SBY) made astatement showing that the government has listened to the online aspirations of the people. II. Literature ReviewIn recent years, communication researchers have conducted a number of studies about computer-mediated communication. Ironically, computers were not originally perceived as communication tools.Quoting Rogers and Malhotra, Michael B. Salwen et al (2005) argued that the early use of computerswas limited to number-crunching and other repetitive data-handling tasks. “The potential of computersfor human communication, and thus for digital democracy, however, has been realized most fully onlyin the 1990s with the rapid diffusion of the Internet," wrote Salwen (p. ix)8.According to Salwen et al (2005), perhaps the most pertinent application of the Internet and World WideWeb to "digital democracy" is as a news medium. Society extols the "informed citizen" conversant inpublic issues. It also prizes a vibrant news media, furnishing citizens with information about publicissues. Admittedly, the informed citizen and the vibrant news media are ideals. Nonetheless, quoting8 Salwen, Michael B, Garrison, Bruce, and Driscoll, Paul D. (2005), Online News and the Public, New Jersey and London,Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
  5. 5. several researches by Bertelsen (1992), Bogart (1995), Carpini (2000), Poindexter & McCombs (2001)and Wilkins (2000), Salwen argued both concepts underscore the role of citizens and the news mediain sustaining democracy. “New media, or new forms of delivery of media messages, raise hopes andconcerns about whether they will contribute to an informed public,” wrote Salwen (p.ix).As Internet and its applications has greatly evolved in recent years, understandably there must bemany scholars studied computer-mediated communication, its implementation and impacts in the worldtoday.One of them was Athina Karatzogianni, who wrote The Politics of Cyberconflict (2006). Karatzogiannifocused on the phenomenon of conflict in computer-mediated environments and the internet(‘cyberconflict’) and looked at the way it has impacted on politics, society and culture. She provided aframework for analysing this new phenomenon, by adopting elements of social movement, conflict andmedia theory.Perhaps, one of the studies that conceptually saw the Internet in Indonesia as a global phenomenonwith global implication was Hill and Sen’s book, The Internet in Indonesia’s New Democracy (2005)9.The book was a detailed study of the political and cultural practices surrounding the provision andconsumption of the Internet in Indonesia at the turn of the twenty-first century. Hill and Sen detailed theemergence of the Internet into Indonesia in the mid-1990s, and covered its growth through the dramaticeconomic and political crises of 1997–98 and the subsequent transition to democracy.The Internet in Indonesia, Hill and Sen argued, had become a space from which educated middle-classliberal democrats could mobilise armies of volunteers to monitor the ballot across the archipelago, but,more importantly, it was an avenue through which they could then scrutinise the progress of their newdemocracy and determine whether it warranted their support. For them, at least, the Internet provided aplatform for a shared experience of this most important of democratic symbols. (p.97)However, since the book was published in 2005, Hill and Sen have not discuss recent incidents such asthe role of Social Media in Indonesia’s political and cultural practices.9 Hill, David T., and Sen, Khrishna (2005), The Internet in Indonesia’s New Democracy, Oxon, Routledge.
  6. 6. As previously stated in the Introduction, Indonesia’s netizen as of December 2011 reached more than55 million people10. By June 2012, Internet penetration in Indonesia has achieved to 20,1 % of its 230million population.It was estimated that in October 2012 almost 50 million users Facebook are Indonesians, making thecountry the forth biggest Facebook users, after USA, Brazil and India11. With almost 30 million users,Indonesia is now the fifth Twitter users in the world, after the USA, Brazil, Japan and UK. At the sametime, the capital (Jakarta) is named as the most-active city in the world posting tweets12.It is now the time for politicians, and other decision makers (from government people to businessowners, professionals and CEOs) to be more transparant and understand that through Social Mediacitizens, or netizens, can easily access almost any information they want and share them with theirfriends and communities. In other words, it is time for government people, politicians and other decisionmakers to be more prudent for embracing integrity in all their daily activities.The reason is that Social Media such as Twitter seems to be very powerful in helping the media to bemore democratic. According to Karatzogianni (2006), in political terms the Internet is viewed as avehicle for educating individuals, stimulating citizen participation, measuring public opinion, easingcitizen access to government officials, offering a public forum, simplifying voter registration and evenfacilitating actual voting. “It has been termed a powerful technology for grass-roots democracy and onethat, by facilitating discussion and collective action by citizens, strengthens democracy, “Karatzogianniwrites, “It also has been called potentially the most powerful tool for political organizing in the past 50years.” (p.6).Quoting Tsagarousianou et al (1998: 8), Karatzogianni (2006) argued that cyberspace offers a mediumin which people can interact and coordinate their actions without relying on a face-to-face contact. (p.7).Similar with what Karatzogianni (2006) wrote, political groups can now have a voice that is very difficultfor governments to silence. According to Karatzogianni, Everard (2000: 158) mentioned that the build-up to Indonesian elections and the subsequent overthrow of the Suharto regime (in 1998) saw the10 - accessed on 25 November 201211 accessed on 29 November 201212 accessed on 29 November 2012
  7. 7. internet become an active player as Indonesians sought alternative sources of information, while theauthorities tightened media controls.Now, in the new era of Internet, the Social Media have made Indonesian citizens to be much moreequipped. With the emergence of this new phenomenon, although the political and economic actorshave unlimited access to easier and cheaper means of political or business communication, they stillhave to face the democratized society who shared things with their online friends or groups and putserious measurements towards any politicians, CEOs or their brands.Borrowing from Karatzogianni, we can say that these new technological opportunities affect the politicalsituation in various ways. “Political communication becomes more mechanized, it is instant andcheaper and new groups which were previously excluded can take part in a political situation withoutfeeling excluded through the new technology, “ said Karatzogianni (p.8). The groups that useinformation communication technologies (ICTs) affect the political situation in that they put forward newrules of the game, the rules of new technology.The above Indonesia’s #SaveKPK case teaches us that to facilitate social distribution of communicators(politicians, PR or marketer) messages, they can also become accessible resources. According toSmith (2010)13, we know now that publics (or netizens) have unparalleled reach and access toinformation, and communication practitioners like politicians (or perhaps their PR persons) can helpSocial Media publics dissect and scrutinize the mess and uncertainty. In this way, information sharingand interaction facilitate relationship cultivation.To borrow from Smith (2010), practitioners (mean politicians and other decision makers) should bewell-versed in the online discussions to provide useful insights that fulfill user needs and lead to furtherinteraction (which may be expressed as a user’s decision to “follow” or “friend” the organization orpractitioner).As suggested by the founder of Future Works and one of the ‘Founding Fathers’ of the PR2.0movement, Brian Solis (2011), ‘communication professionals’ will need to reconstruct communications13 Socially distributing public relations: Twitter, Haiti, and interactivity in social media; available at:
  8. 8. entire model for the Social Web, accounting for the complex and elaborate two-way layers of traditionaland new influencers and the communities that form around them and the ideas they represent14.Consequently, since the ‘communication professionals’ can also include or politicians -- and PRpractitioners who work for them -- they also must reconstruct their communications into the mostappropriate new model, which force them, whether they like it or not, to be as transparent as possible.According to Solis, communications industry has been evolved with so much technologicaladvancement over the last century, including broadcast mediums and Web 1.0. None however, haveforced complete transparency prior to the proliferation of the The Social Web, which many of us called itWeb 2.0.Furthermore Solis argues, that it is this element of fundamental transparency of Social Media combinedwith its sheer expansiveness and overwhelming potential that is both alarming and inspiringcommunication professionals everywhere. “At the minimum, it’s sparking new dialogue, questions,education and innovation…” says Solis15.Breakenridge (2008) argues that Social networks, for instance, is very important medium for gettingpeople to talk about the people behind the companies. “If someone trusts the executives of a company,they’re probably going to trust the brand.16” Now, two of the biggest questions a brand has to answer ina crowded marketplace are: “What do you stand for?”, and “Can I trust you?”Thus, it can be said that even the business people now are being dragged into new attitude of honesty,more customer (which means public) centric, and conduct a more ethical business behavior.According to Senior Manager in Nokia’s Corporate Strategy Group, Stephen Johnston, social networksconnect with other people who share same interests, however niche – so markets that were previouslyinaccesible can now make sense. As cited by Breakenridge (2008), Johnston feels that social networks14 Brian Solis in Scribd: –accessed on 25 November 201215 Solis: – accessed on 26November 201216 Breakenridge (p.125)
  9. 9. give individuals a voice – it empowers them to publish whatever they want to say, whether it’s byposting their videos, pictures, or blog posts (p.128).As cited by Mohammed (2003), the internet eliminates boundaries in geography, firms (as well aspolitical parties and politicians in this study - SBA) can communicate and reach segments of customers(or publics - SBA) previously difficult to access (p.91). The result of this is that individuals and brandsare all just as importantt as each other.From the Indonesian case above, we can say that an activist like Ms Anita Wahid or even a young girlin a small city can have more friends than a big billion dollar brand (or, say, a famous politician) in anyone social network site. This is the power we are discussing here. The power of niches. Since wealready entered the Recommendation Age, and left the Information Age, we noticed anothermanifestation of ‘wisdom of the crowds’. That ‘wisdom’, we should notice, together with Social Mediaand the democratization of content have now become important factors for a new and bettercommunication activities.On that note and for that reason, the researcher argues that it is important to have a closer look on theimpact of Social Media towards Indonesia’s politicians and government figures’ day-to-day activities inrelations to ethical and transparancy behaviours. III. MethodologyFrom the objective point of view, this research can be classified as a descriptive collerational, usingparticipatory observational methodology. Where in descriptive research normally the researcherattempts to describe systematically a situation, problem, or phenomenon, or provides information about, for example, living condition of a community, or describes attitudes towards an issue, in correlationalresearch the researcher attempts to discover or establish the existence of a relationship between two ormore aspects of a situation.It can be seen from what the researcher did for this study. Between September 2012 to early December2012 the researcher tried to describe the recent phenomenon of Social Media used by IndonesianNetizens in their efforts to invite government’s response towards their political demand, particularly in
  10. 10. relations with their supports towards super anti-corruption body KPK (the Corruption EradicationCommission).In other words, the researcher attempted to describe new phenomenon of Twitter, as one of the mostpopular Social Media in Indonesia, and discover its relationship with its various functions that can bringthe effect of people’s empowerment in the country. Consequently, when people become more powerfullthey can force politicians and other decision makers to be more serious in embracing ethics andintegrity in their daily activities.In the implementation of this research, the researcher separately enriched the observation with another(second) data collection, using participatory observational methodology.As a type of data collection method, participatory observation is typically done in the qualitativeresearch paradigm. As normally happen in this kind of researches, the researcher aimed to obtain acloser familiarity with netizens’, who use news stories about the Jakarta’s governor election in theirSocial Media conversations. However, since the observer didn’t actively enggaged in the practices ofthe observees behavior, or has only a bystander role, it is classified as a passive participationapproach.The research took place between September 2012 and early December 2012.The second data collection referred to the Jakarta provincial election, in September 202 when theJakartans elected Indonesia’s capital new governor in the second round. At that time there were twopair candidates who have won the first round in July 2012: the incumbent Mr. Fauzi ‘Foke’ Wiboworunning with Nachrowi Ramli versus Joko Widodo and Basuki Tjahja Purnama. Around seven millionJakarta’s electors had been talking about the election, far before the D-day which was scheduled on 20September 2012. Many netizens actively had various conversations regarding that election throughSocial Media, such as Twitter, Facebook and webblogs (blogs), with big passions.The steps taken: 1. Two days before the election, the researcher collected several news stories with negative tone towards one of the governor candidate, then picked 11 most appropriate ones to be summarized and posted in researcher’s blog as an article titled “11 Serangan Terhadap Foke di Media,” which means ‘11 Attacks by Media towards Foke (the incumbent).’ The post can be viewed using this URL (link):
  11. 11. 2. On the same day the post was shared on the collector (or ‘hub’) website, Lintas.Me ( The article can be accessed using this URL (link): http://politik- . 3. The shared article then Tweeted on the Twitter for several times. Here is an example of one of the tweets: the above steps, the researcher aimed to know what would happen if a negative news storyabout politicians is shared using the researcher’s blog, third party news-collector website and Twitter.The researcher thinks that this study is still in its infancy. It does not only need inputs and critics, butalso a further and more comprehensive study. IV. Research ResultsThe research showed that Social Media in Indonesia, particularly blogs and online portals with the bighelp of Twitter, has played a big role in changing the communication between politicians (or brands)and their publics. Somehow similar with the ‘The Arab Spring’ revolutions, actions by Indonesianpublics (Netizens) on Twitter during a period between October 2012 to December 2012 showed that theNew Media has given them more space, time and opportunity to be more powerful in draggingpoliticians from the president to governor to be more transparant and embrace integrity in their actions.In short, due to its function in empowering the publics, the New Media has played big roles in enforcingIndonesia’s politicians integrity.The researcher found out that in the standoff between Indonesia’s official anti-corruption agency, theCorruption Eradication Commission (KPK) versus the Indonesian National Police case, a big number ofTwitter users passionately shared, discussed and inspired each others in demanding Indonesiangovernment, particularly the president, to take immediate and appropriate action to support the KPK.As has already been broadly published by media, last year (2012) KPK was in a very shaky positionafter taking on an Indonesian top police officer, one of its biggest cases to date. Police InspectorGeneral Djoko Susilo has been accused of taking massive kickbacks in the procurement of drivingsimulators when he headed the National Police Traffic Corps division in 2010. After defying twosummonses, he showed up at the commission’s headquarters on Friday 5 October 2012. But he is
  12. 12. clearly not taking the corruption accusation lying down, and appears to enjoy the full backing of thepolice force.Created in 2004, the KPK has had remarkable success leading the campaign to clean up the country ofbig-time corruption, sending dozens of powerful politicians and businessmen to jail. In its work, it hascollaborated with the National Police as well as the Attorney General’s Office and relies on detectivesseconded by these two institutions.But when the KPK tackles corruption in the police force, according to senior writer Endi Bayuni, itinevitably upsets that relationship. Now, the commission may be undermining its work -- and its future.“The police are leading a KPK-bashing campaign and have found enthusiasts amongst the powerfulinstitutions that have felt the wrath of the anti-graft campaign, such as the House of Representatives,the major political parties, and even the office of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY),” Bayuniwrote in Foreign Policy17.Insisting that they conducted their own investigation against Djoko Susilo, the police were doing all theycan to frustrate the KPK’s work. According to Bayuni, in the beginning of October the police withdrew20 officers seconded to work with the commission. When they offered replacements, none of thecandidates passed the KPK integrity test. The KPK has offered the 20 recalled officers to join full-timeand build their careers with the commission; there were only five takers.Politicians quickly jumped on the bandwagon. Major factions in the House of Representatives haveproposed a bill to disenable many of the KPK powers. “If endorsed, the new law would effectively turnthe commission into a toothless tiger. The House is already holding back funds allocated from thegovernment budget for the construction of a new office for the KPK,” added Bayuni. Unfortunately thegovernment appeared to be playing along. It was certainly making no effort to protect the KPK.Although President SBY was elected twice, in 2004 and 2009, on his anti-corruption platform, he hasrecently felt the heat of graft-fighting himself, with the KPK going after top figures in his DemocraticParty and in his Cabinet.17 Foreign Policy, 5 October 2012:
  13. 13. Furthermore, Bayuni argued, besides being under-funded and under-staffed, the KPK was becomingincreasingly isolated. “The institutions with should be working with it are now turning against it. Bytaking many high profile cases at the same time, the KPK is spreading itself dangerously thin,” Bayuniwrote.In the midst of that hardship, the KPK eventually enjoyed massive support from the public, and lastSeptember 2012 a group of respected public and religious leaders visited the KPK in a show of support.Social media then was filled with messages of support and solidarity for the KPK as well ascondemnations of the police and politicians.Many of them also went to held demonstration on the street and in KPK office buildings with friends andpeople who shared the idea. Not only that. Some of the Netizens also created new pages or madecomments in blogs, Facebook pages and Youtube, as well as inviting supports in their petitions.Seeing those actions as incidents with big news value, national and international (traditional) mediahave continuously published or broadcasted the events in their respective newspapers, television andradio stations. Many of them, such as famous Kompas.Com, also quoted or referred to what peoplesaid in their Twitter accounts18.As written by the main English newspaper The Jakarta Post on 10 October 201219, that throughhashtags like #SaveKPK (which plead to support the Corruption Eradication Commission or KPK),#DimanaSBY (Where is SBY, the president) #KemanaPresidenKita (mockering the KPK abreviation)which means “Where is Our President?”, Twitter users sent messages ranging from contemptuouscomments in Twitter (while many of them also echoed the messages in their Facebook accounts), rallycalls, petition signing invitations, to form a human chain at the KPK headquarters to making derisivecomments about Mr. Yudhoyono.Those actions mainly initiated or promoted by prominent public figures, such as Paramadina UniversityRector Anies Baswedan PhD, the daughters of Indonesia’s prominent leader (and former president)the late Mr. Abdurrahman Wahid, Ms. Anita Wahid, Ms Anita’s sister, Ms.Alissa Wahid, popular thinker18 Kompas.Com: The Jakarta Post 10 October 2012: -- accessed on 10 November 2012
  14. 14. Mr. Fadjroel Rachman, leader of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence(Kontras) Mr. Usman Hamid, and Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) public campaign coordinator Ms.Illian Deta Arta Sari. The researcher learned that those names mentioned in the newspapers were notonly active and very discipline in tweeting their messages in the Twitterland, but they also have morethan tens of thousands followers in Twitter. One who had the biggest followers was ParamadinaUniversity Rector Anies Baswedan PhD, accounting for 169,283 people (on October 2012), followed byMr. Fadjroel Rachman with 135,482 followers.Therefore, it can be understood that during October 2012 only the hashtag #SaveKPK reached notless than 9 million Internet users20.One of Anies’ tweets said that, “those (KPK) investigators ‘gambled’ their career, future and perhapstheir safety while we only can put the words SAVE KPK in the avatar…” (para penyidik itu pertaruhkankarier, masa depan & mungkin keselamatan saat kita baru bs taruhkan kata SAVE KPK di avatar…)On 3 October 2012 the above tweet, among many other tweets, has been retweeted (means echoed orcopied) by his followers 208 times. The researcher noticed that the tweets made by the activists havevarious inspiring and firm languages, and sometimes sound very strong.The researcher also found out that Anies Baswedan (as one of the prominent anti corruption majorplayers)’s tweets have become one of the most inspiring conversations for the followers. Here aresome examples of what Anies wrote in his Twiiter’s Time Line between in October 2012: - Re-tweeting Goenawan Mohamad of Tempo magazine, on 4 October Anies wrote the following: “Representative of street children in front of KPK leaders: “KPK don’t dare to be afraid, don’t afraid to be dare!” (RT @gm_gm: Wakil anak jalanan di depan pimpinan KPK: "KPK jangan berani-berani utk takut, jangan takut-takut utk berani!") - Don’t let the KPK alone and stripped. President must take action in strengthening the KPK in fighting with the corruptor. (Jangan biarkan KPK sendirian & dilucuti. Presiden hrs turun tangan dlm perkuat KPK utk #perangi koruptor.) - The more being attacked and weakened the more clearer the indication that KKP has been threatening the corruptor (Makin diserang & dilemahkan maka makin jelas indikasi bhw KPK sdh makin menakutkan di hadapan koruptor. #perangi).20 The Jakarta Post, 10 October 2012 ( ), accessed on 10 November 2012
  15. 15. As mentioned above, the researcher learned that the discussions and news about the Save KPKincident have interestingly also spread widely in the mass media. Both the Conventional Media andNew Media have matched up each others and harmouniously showed their watchdog functions for thebenefits of citizens, being the later particularly dominated by private individuals and civil societyleaders.As many other media, on Thursday 4 October Berita Satu.Com published a news story about dozens ofactivists who gathered in the KPK office building at Kuningan area, South Jakarta, demanding the SBYgovernment to save KPK.21 One of the demonstrators was Alissa Wahid, the daughter of Indonesia’sex President Abdurrahman Wahid, argued that people today came to the KPK like red antscongregating to support what KPK did in fighting corruption. Wearing blacks, the activists – consited ofanti-corruption figures, lecturers, students and community leaders – chanted, "Save KPK! SaveIndonesia! Arrest Djoko Susilo (the Police General)! Tomorrow! (Tangkap Djoko (Susilo)! Besok!).”Another writer and artist, Radhar Panca Dahana while cyring (literally) said that Indonesia was run bycrooks, that’s why it became as bad as what we see now. “Pak Abraham (Abraham Samad, chairmanof KPK), Pak Busyro (Busyro Muqodas, vice chairman of KPK), I think we are now in war (with policeforce). War against corruption,” said Radhar. The activists ascertained that Djoko Susilo’s attitudetarnished police’s reputation, and he must be put on trial. The attitude was also indicated as an effort toweaken the KPKs work in combating corruption.On 6 October 2012, Heru Margianto of Kompas.Com, wrote a long story about it which was titled “SaveKPK, Presiden Ke Mana (Save KPK, Where is The President).”22 The article then shared by thousandsof readers: it was read by 33,847 people, got 185 comments in the paper page, tweeted 50 times and174 people liked it in Facebook.A website by salingsilang wrote that along Friday 5 October 2012 only, according to Kompas.Com,there were 39,997 #SaveKPK tweets recorded on Supports from people also happened in21 Berita Satu, 4 October 2012: Kompas 6 October 2013:
  16. 16. other Social Media. A website, for instance, establised a petition by anti-corruption activistsuch as Anita Wahid and her friends titled, “Serahkan kasus Korupsi POLRI ke KPK! (Return the policecorruption case back to KPK!) Hentikan Pelemahan KPK! (Stop Weakening the KPK!).” On the daywhen the article was written (6 October 2012 morning) it has already reached 8,230 supportingsignatures23.Following the above action, on Sunday 7 October 2012 around one thousand activists congregated inHotel Indonesia Circle (Bundaran HI, in the middle of the capital), demonstrating to support the prointegrity movement. As stated by media such as Detik.Com24, Kompas and Berita Satu.Com25, thereare many protests happened in Jakarta, following the conversations in the Twitter. An excerpt fromDetik told that, thousands of demonstrators gathered in Hotel Indonesia Circle demanding thegovernment to defend KPK in the fight againts corruption. Among the activists, there are public figuressuch as Anies Baswedan26, Usman Hamid27 (of Kontras) and Goenawan Mohamad (of Tempo)28.In Facebook, the ‘Save KPK Save Indonesia’ account page29 has been actively shared different newsstories, comments and other satirical postings which allowed it to get not less than 24,000 likes. On 14October 2012, the account shared a link from youtube that showed a song titled “Save KPK” by CameoProject Yosi Mokalu music arranger and friends. The facebook page has been re-shared by 50 otheraccounts, received 167 thumbs and got 18 comments.A day before that, on 13 October, the ‘Save KPK Save Indonesia’ Facebook page posted a quotationby one of Indonesia’s famous writer and poet Sitok Srengenge. According to Mr.Srengenge (who has23 Kompas.Com, 6 October 2012: Detik.Com, 7 October 2012: Berita Satu.Com, 4 October 2012; Anies Baswedan’s Twitter account: Usman Hamid’s Twitter account; Goenawan Mohamad Twitter account: Save KPK Save Indonesia Facebook account:
  17. 17. more than 20,000 followers in his Twitte account30), there must be a fight back so that the parliamentand other institutions have to be immediately audited. The post has been praised by 495 people whoput their thumb signs, received 232 comments and shared by four others.Following the above study, the researcher separately enriched the observation with another datacollection. Using participatory observational methodology, the researcher intended to obtain a closerlook towards Netizens on the use of news stories about the Jakarta’s governor election in their SocialMedia conversations.The research showed that although the article in the researcher’s blog was only a simple restoration of11 media sites – which carried negative tones towards the incumbent, Mr. ‘Foke’ and his partner -- itobviously brought a siginificant effect towards Social Media users.The researcher almost didn’t spin nor did he write a thought provoking article. It was a quick grasp,simple information and images gathered from selected 11 online media. It then went online only in afew minutes.To researcher’s surprise, only in few hours the linked post on Lintas.Me got so much viewers31. Thefollowing day the viewers jumped to almost 1,000, around 200 % more than usual visitors to other postsin the particular blog. By the end of September it had already reached more than 2,500 viewers, whichentitled for a five star hot topic.Consequently page views in the blog itself has also rocketed. The stat from Wordpress showed that on18 September 2012 no less than 1,421 viewers visited the blog, with 644 of them viewing the particulararticle. The stat also showed that most viewers (529 and 249) referred from that hub collector site(Lintas.Me), which combined by referrals from Search Engines, Facebook and Twitter.One can be sure that those who visited the hub site mostly came from Facebook and Twitter users,because after linking the post into the hub, the researcher had also shared its link to his Facebook pageand Twitter accounts.30 Sitok Srengenge Twitter account:
  18. 18. The fact that the article in the hub (Lintas.Me) got five stars (by 29 November 2012 it had 2,989viewers, and by 5 January 2013 it reached 3.159 viewers up till today) and the blog reached more than1,400 page views on 18 September showed that shareability and influencing is very important in theSocial Media).What the researcher has done with that ’11 Attacks’ post into the hub was what we call layering SocialMedia channels to enhance a kind of ‘campaign’, which is also a kind of sharing with others. It is asocial activity, with intention to gain visibility for bloggers or campaigners.The researcher found out that instead of just having a message or news to be sent out (or shared)directly to Twitter or Facebook, it will be much fruitful if a blogger could layer it – as it is putting contentin a context.The researcher observed that this kind of sharing content with layering was crucial, because we knowthat great content isn’t great until somebody reads it, shares it and links to it. We know that it is notenough for us to only produce good quality contents, but we need to put them in context, and we havealso have to do things that draw attention and links to them. And Social Media participation is yetanother layer, perhaps one of the most effective, for enhancing one’s search engine optimization,drawing eyeballs and those all-important inbound links to his/her content.As long as bloggers pick a good timing of the posts and necessity of speed with the news itself, theycould disseminate their story in the most effective way by revealing and refining it through publicchannels and forums.Based on the above observation, the researcher thought that anyone with simple blog could becomesinfluencer at anytime and anywhere he or she wanted. It was also understood that politicans such asgovernor candidates (as well as other decision makers) should be aware that an unknown person inremote place could also play a big role in watching and measuring their daily activities. V. ConclusionThe research showed that New Media has changed everything in our life, and that it has changed thecommunication between politicians such as the governor, KPK or police officers and the president andtheir publics. Public perceptions over politicians or decision makers are determined by their experiencesharing about them, and not determined by propaganda, talks or promises.
  19. 19. It can be ascertained that Social Media applications enabled everyone, including politicians, to godirectly to the publics, and vice versa. Social Media applications, coupled with many strategies on theInternet brought powerful and more meaningful communication, or ‘conversation’, with publics whodemanded information and wanted to gather, organize, and shared content with their onlinecommunities.Furthermore, because the Internet foster users for individualization and interactivity, it gives power toSocial Media users anywhere in the world. Everyone individually now able to say whatever they want atany given time and place. Word of Mouth, the powerful medium to promote or kill a character (such asa politician or a brand), now becoming ‘world of mouth’, or ‘world of mouse’.The research and literature studies showed that interactivity also enhancing that power, as everyindividual is now able to communicate with their old and new friends, socializing with people who standfor the same cause they care about, sharing their ideas and influencing each others. The fact thattweets from those men and women in Indonesia reached nine million Internet users, which made thegovernment reacted, showed that power. The power of democracy. The people’s power. Those peoplehave been tweeting for freedom of speech and freedom of expression which brought, in the abovecase, the idea to curb the corruption in Indonesia.Only by multiplying tweets by Anies Baswedan PhD (with 169,283 followers on 29 November 2012) andMr. Fadjroel Rachman (135,482 followers) -- which retweeted by their followers who also amplifyingthem by retweeting the content again – for instance, we could not imagine how big is the imminentpower brought by Social Media.Now, in the new era of ICT, the democratization of Social Media content also dictates the success,“shareability,” and dissemination of one’s story by revealing and refining it through public forums andchannels. Social Media let the community guide how politicians and other decision makers approachthem; it’s now up to the community. It’s the users (citizens, or the customers) -- and not the politicians,producers or the brands – markets (or publics) that they are facing.Finally, it can be concluded that Social Media showed that communications have been two ways andhorizontally, urging everyone from politicians to business executives, regardless they like it or not, to bemore transparant and embrace integrity in their actions.
  20. 20. VI. References 1. Anderson, C. (2007), The Long Tail: How Endless Choice is Creating Unlimited Demand, London, Random House Business Books. 2. Breakenridge, D. (2008), PR 2.0: New Media, New Tools, New Audiences, New Jersey, Pearson Education Inc. 3. Hill, David T., and Sen, K. (2005), The Internet in Indonesia’s New Democracy, Oxon, Routledge. 4. Karatzogianni, A. (2006), The Politics of Cyberconflict, Oxon, Routledge. 5. Mohammed, Rafi A. et all (2003), Internet Marketing, Building Advantage in a Networked Economy, New York; McGraw Hill. 6. Salwen, Michael B., Garrison, B. and Driscoll, Paul D. (2005), Online News and the Public, New Jersey and London, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. 7. Smith, Brian G. (2010). Socially distributing public relations: Twitter, Haiti, and interactivity in social media. Public Relations Review, 36(4), 329-335 -- available at: interactivity-in-social-media/.Internet Sources: 1. Researcher’s blog: -- accessed everday. 2. The Jakarta Post, 10 October 2012 ( growing-power-social-media.html ), accessed on 10 November 2012 3. - accessed on 25 November 2012 4. - accessed on 25 November 2012 5. -- accessed on 26 November 2012 6. -- accessed on 29 November 2012 7. -- accessed on 29 November 2012 8. – accessed on 25 November 2012 9. Lintas.Me: sembrani -- accessed on 25 November 2012.dr.SYAFIQ BASRI ASSEGAFF, MA.As a communication strategist and practitioner with more than 16 years’ experience (in Indonesia andAustralia), Syafiq has dealt with various communication programs and media relations in severalcompanies and non-profit organizations such as UNICEF and AusAID. Syafiq earned masters degreein Journalism (MA) from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Australia. PR practitioner andmarketer, Syafiq has more than seven years’ experience as journalist in Tempo and Prospekmagazines (in Indonesia) and in The Archipelago Indonesia Review (Sydney, Australia). Writer,columnist and public speaker, he developed his management and leadership experience throughelevating work practices in different organizations -- spanning from education, media, communicationmanagement, to social, health and business sectors. As a non-practising Medical Doctor, he gained hismedical degree from Padjadjaran University, Bandung, Indonesia. Besides teaching at the Faculty ofCommunication Paramadina University and Post Graduate Program The London School of PublicRelations (Jakarta), currently he is working as communication consultant for one of Indonesian Stateowned companies in Jakarta. He can be contacted via Twitter: @sbasria.