[Press Release] Youth and Digital Peacemaking | Digitalk #29
Fri, 05 Apr 2019 || By Admin CfDS

Semarang, 4th April 2019 – As another series of ‘Center for Digital Society (CfDS) Goes to Campus’, CfDS collaborated with Siberkreasi’s School of Influencer and Universitas Diponegoro to hold Digitalk #29 with the theme of “Be Social Media Peacemaker” on Thursday (04/04) at Auditorium Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Universitas Diponegoro. Four speakers were invited: Ika Riswanti Putranti, P.hD (lecturer of Universitas Diponegoro), Yosi Mokalu (Cameo Project), Fajrul Falah (founder of Saintif) and Shafira Gayatri (activist of Search for Common Ground); all presented to promote digital literacy and peacemaking via digital technology. Aside from seminar, the event also offered workshop on digital marketing and contemporary content creator.

The Importance of Cyber Resilience

“There are 3.2 billion internet users out of 7.53 billion of total population on earth. When we talk about cyber resilience, we don’t only talk about digital technology. We are talking about human”, as Ika Riswanti opened the seminar. Cyber resilience are often seen as a strategy for national security against cyber-attacks, meanwhile the meaning is so much more than that. It defines how individuals should react against daily cyber-attacks including hate speech. “Vulnerabilities are roaming against specific group such as people with disabilities, minority groups and women. They are twice more likely subjected to bullying and online sexual harassment. People with low literacy is at risk as well, as they are prone to difficulties to find information to seek help,” said Ika. She suggested some tips to become resilience as digital savvy: 1) Emotional awareness and regulation (avoid writing online in anger); 2) Impulse control (think before sharing content); 3) optimism (reading various sources before comes to conclusion); 4) casual analysis (analyze news content accordingly); 5) self-efficacy and reach out (seek help when having complex problem such as cyber bullying).

Youth as Active Peacemaker

Talking about the human aspect on cyber resilience, there are 89% of human population age 10-24 labeled as youth according to UN. With those huge number, youth has enormous potential to spread peace and harmony. UN Security Council Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security (2015) declared youth as active peacemaker. Young generation has important roles on peace building in digital era. Shafira Gayatri, also a young peace activist herself, encouraged the audience to be an active peacemaker by carrying positive messages on social media. She works with Search for Common Ground, a global NGO whose mission is to encourage peace within society. “These are what youth can do: using social media as tool to spread peace, promote peace in a catchy and trendy way, and encourage more youth to be agent of peace. Together, we cultivate harmony for the world,” Shafira said. On her explanation, she showed many peace initiatives coined by young people in Indonesia such as Sabang Merauke, Young Interfaith Peacemaker Community, Ngobrolind, etc. She commented on people’s doubt to spread positive contents. “It doesn’t have to be viral,” she said. “It doesn’t matter that we don’t have thousands of followers or subscribers. Start small and start now. If we can make a little difference to people around us, that counts.”

Fajrul Falah might be an example of young generation who actively promotes positive messages through online platforms. He is founder of Saintif, an online media creating educative scientific content in relevant and interesting design. Saintif chose Instagram as their main platform and now has 45.000 followers. Fajrul said his team chose topics which were relatable to daily life such as why chilies are spicy or fun facts about rain. “False news and hoax are easy to spread because they’re narrated in most fascinating way and very reachable. We should battle hoax with positive content. To win, we use fascinating design and relatable topics as well,” he said. Their website is accessed by 400.000 readers online. They even had launched two books related to misconception about flat earth and investigative approach to moon landing. The platform had just won WSIS Prizes 2019, an international recognition towards individuals, governments, civil-societies, research institutions and private sectors for their outstanding success in leveraging ICT as an enabler of development. Fajrul and his team was expected to receive the award in Geneva this April.

Everybody is born as an influencer

Yosi Mokalu or known as Yosi “Project Pop” has deeply involved in content making and digital literacy initiatives these past years. With fellow Youtubers, he created Cameo Project and Kreator Nongkrong in hope to combat fake news with positive contents while spreading digital literacy to netizen. He started with powerful motto. “We all are born an influencer,” he began. “During our lives, we influence each other one way or another, big or small. Now, we associate influencer with big followers. We never realize people behind powerful figures like Soekarno is the real influencers.” He pointed out that speaking up for what matters to us is easier than ever with social media in the tip of our finger. Everybody is a content creator because daily we create content, whether it’s an Instagram story, pictures or articles, and send them to online world. However, people are using digital technology to express themselves, but hardly for the bigger cause. They become so full of themselves and forget the bigger issues. Yosi underlined the importance of empathy to start spreading positive messages on social media. “When it comes to what matters to you and matters to everybody, don’t be silent. Speak up! More often than not, we are afraid to start due to fear of judgments or critics. Why would we be afraid to share something positive?” he asked.

However, Yosi warned the audience use freedom of expression with caution. Many people use freedom of expression to voice anger and hate. He said to start with saying positive things in order to spread positive message. Positive people never side with anything but neutrality and put first wisdom and knowledge when interacting with anyone. Another thing he emphasized was the importance of reaching out. Reaching out means having discussion with people against us with intention to understand their perspectives and let them know it’s okay to have different opinion. Discussion is not meant to find out who’s right and who’s wrong, like what happens these days in comment section on social media. He encouraged audience to start using social media from now on to speak up for unity of our Indonesia.

Written by: Nabiila Nurfitri

CfDS (Center for Digital Society) UGM is a multi-disciplinary research center that is established under the Faculty of Social & Political Sciences University of Gadjah Mada. This research center is built upon the concern over the contemporary dynamics of socio-political condition of the world that is accentuated by the impeccable influence of information technology. The phenomenon triggers the new patterns and complexities in the society, and thus requires new approaches in managing such complexities. Our research and other activities are based on spirits that is aligned with our motto, productive, innovative, & influential.