Along with the development of today's era, technology has become an integral aspect of every human’s daily life. The presence of technology also brings positive and negative sentiment within the community. In response to this phenomenon, Center for Digital Society (CfDS) UGM took the initiative to hold an event titled Digital Future Discussion (Diffusion) at Digilib Café, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Universitas Gadjah Mada on Thursday (8/2).
Difussion is the latest event initiated by CfDS UGM in 2018. The aim of this event is to open discussion about digital issues in everyday life through an interactive discussion forum.
On the event, the three speakers present were Nabeel Khawarizmy as project officer of the research division at CfDS UGM, Gehan Ghofari as the research associate of CfDS UGM, and Ridho Bima Pamungkas as the research assistant of CfDS UGM. These three speakers would describe the study related to various social-digital issues that in the year of 2017, it had become a trend and highly-discussed in the digital community.
On the first session, Ridho Bima Pamungkas spoke about the concerning problem of false news in Indonesia. He highlighted the rampant spread of fake news in the midst of Indonesian society that is arbitrarily used to cause the split of groups and communities for the sake of politics, in which the real example of the case had been proven during the gubernatorial election in Jakarta 2017 ago. Furthermore, Bima also spoke whether Indonesia is facing two important political events, namely general elections in 2018 and 2019. Therefore, both the public and the government should beware not to make the same mistakes as it did before.
The next session, Gehan Ghofari talk about the dynamics of e-commerce development that increasingly influential in 2017. Based on the findings, the world of e-commerce is still controlled by two major players, Alibaba and Amazon. Interestingly, the rivalry between the world's e-commerce giants also seeps into the local market. In Indonesia for example, the competition that occurs among large e-commerce players also cannot be separated from the interference of global companies. The injection of funds given by global companies also makes the competition becomes increasingly tight and hard.
"The state borders are no longer relevant in e-commerce, for example, Shopee is a Singaporean company, but it gets investments from GDP Ventures (Indonesia) and actively operating in Indonesia, while Tokopedia is an Indonesian company who is getting more investment from Alibaba (China). With that said, it can be concluded that Indonesians are giving investment to Singaporean companies that actively operate in Indonesia, against Indonesian firms that are being invested by Jack Ma from China. The state’s boundaries are unclear, and the results may be in our favour (Indonesia) as well as foreign countries." Therefore, Gehan believed that in 2018, the stretch of competition in the world of e-commerce would be more tight and difficult to predict.
In the last session of ‘Diffussion’, Nabeel Khawarizmy talked about the topic of digital lifestyle in 2017. One of the most exciting issues is about Internet utilization as a platform of digital activism. According to him, the Internet has become a public space that is used to raise the social problems, as well as fight social, economic and political repression that still happens.
"Digital activism in social media, #MeToo, is used to denote sexual harassment and violence in the workplace. Many victims of sexual assault talk about the issue and become person of the year from TIME, I think this is a milestone in digital activism. "
On the other hand, Nabeel also highlighted the net-neutrality phenomenon, in which the Internet has been commodified as a commercial object that violates the principle of universal access. With the progress that is going on its way, Nabeel saw that in 2018, the lifestyle of humans would be more integrated with digital technology.
The event was attended by approximately 25 participants from different backgrounds. After the three speakers repeated each other's material, the event continued with an interactive question and answered session between the speaker and the participants. The first 'Diffusion' event was successfully held and received a high level of enthusiasm from the participants. Hopefully, this event will regularly be held every month as one of commitment from CfDS to develop digital society study in Indonesia.