Social Media and Indonesia’s 2019 Elections


About the Seminar
The role of social media is increasingly important in Indonesian politics. In the context of Indonesia’s forthcoming Presidential and Parliamentarian elections on 17 April 2019, social media platforms like Twitter and WhatsApp are virtual battlegrounds in which opposing sides seek to popularise their candidates and control the narrative. While the offline campaign is no less important, the online campaign is of special interest given how rapidly it has emerged and how little we understand about how it might be changing the nature of Indonesia’s democracy. At one extreme, critics of social media highlight its potential to undermine elections as unregulated platforms serves vectors of fake news and disinformation. At the other extreme, sceptics argue that social media is a superficial distraction from the real issues.

This seminar explores the impact of social media on Indonesia’s upcoming elections, from ‘hashtag wars’ to fake news controversies and shadowy ‘cyber armies’. Two leaders in the field share their unique perspectives, one from academia and the other from the digital media industry. Both bring with them their latest insights from close observation of the ongoing campaign in Indonesia, now in its crucial final weeks.

About the Speakers
Yose Rizal  is the founder of and CEO & Founder of MediaWave Analytics and MediaWave Interactive since 2010. He is also the Head of Research and Measurement in Indonesia Digital Association since 2014 and a Commissioner at PT. Telekomunikasi Selular since 2017. Prior to this, he served as Business Director of Snoop Mobile Media (2008 – 2010), Director of Azka Megah Dirgantara (2003 – 2008), and Director of Bandung Information Technology (2000-2004). He is an adjuct lecturer and business mentor at the Master of Business Administration program, School of Business and Management, Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB). He holds a Bachelor degree in Urban & Regional Planning from the same university.

Ross Tapsell  is a senior lecturer and researcher at the Australian National University’s College of Asia and the Pacific, where he specialises in media and culture in Island Southeast Asia. He is the author of Media Power in Indonesia: Oligarchs, Citizens and the Digital Revolution and co-editor of Digital Indonesia: Connectivity and Divergence. As well as scholarly publications, Ross’s articles have appeared in The Canberra Times, The Guardian, The Converstaion, Tempo, The Jakarta Post, the Malay Mail and others. He has previously worked in Indonesia with The Jakarta Post and the Lombok Post.

For registration, please fill in this form and email to by 15 March 2019.



Mar 18 2019


10:30 am - 12:00 pm


ISEAS Seminar Room 2