[PRESS RELEASE] Digital Space in Indonesia: Has It been Safe and Comfortable? | #DIFUSSION62

November 11, 2021 12:47 am || By

Google Meet, 28th October 2021— Social media has been triggering some polemics, such as abuse and misuse of data. The platform is not the only party that carries responsibility for the negative impacts that occur. It also involves netizens who should cooperate for using social media wisely to create safe and comfortable cyberspace. For responding problems that arise, Difussion #62 would be taking theme ‘Digital Space in Indonesia: Has It been Safe and Comfortable?’ by inviting Nadya Olga Aletha and Jasmine Putri as research assistants of CfDS and moderated by Firya Q. Abisono as partnership assistant of CfDS.

Safe and Comfortable Social Media from Ethics and Legal Perspectives

Based on Nadya’s research result, she states that there is a need for a legal accommodation process related to ethics and consumer protection problems toward social media advertisements. This is in line with the shift in the function of social media from a sharing platform to a marketing platform. Ethics and legal discussion in social media advertising need to be done because it has concerns about the comfort and safety of the users themselves. An advertisement can be categorized as violating ethics when it meets the three conditions, including exaggerated, repetitive, and inappropriate.  

Followed on the legal side, ads legality is one of the aspect that needs further discussion because social media is used globally meanwhile every country has different law. An example is the prohibition of displaying online gambling to Facebook users in Indonesia. This rule application needs a moderation process through cooperation between the government and related platforms for protecting users’ interests. In the context in Indonesia, the government is demanded for asserting the responsibility of endorsers and entrepreneurs along with ethics terminology on Article 17 Paragraph (1) of Law No. 8 of 1999 concerning Consumer Protection. On the other hand, users can also protect themselves from advertisements that are considered annoying and irrelevant by installing AdBlock.

Once again Nadya reaffirms, “The challenge is balancing the initial function and current function of social media as a marketing tool so that it creates safety and comfortable cyberspace. Ethics and legal issues are the urgencies for ads modernization content that is displayed in social media.”

Sexism: Threat towards Inclusivity in Digital Space

In line with Nadya, Jasmine argues that social media as digital space that should be inclusive still has problem to create a safe and comfortable environment, specifically for marginal people. It should be known that digital space as public space is expected to be an alternative to equalize access of marginalized groups through the creation of new spaces on the internet. However, the development of the internet has opened up a new gap in sexism that threatens community inclusiveness. Further, Jasmine identifies three conditions of sexism, encompassing intimidation, shaming, and discrediting.

One of sexism in digital space issues is discrimination that is received by An San as an archery athlete from South Korea. Her winning on Tokyo Olympics 2020 instead caused harassment and many protest to take away her winning medal. It is caused by her short hair that is equally seen as feminist. This takes the spotlight off her victory and discredits her achievements as a woman.

For the closing, Jasmine also emphasizes, “Digital public space opens the access the resistances for public discussion and marginalized groups can voice their opinion. However, digital public space also can be misused for reproducing inequality. This adoption of strategy makes public space is not safe for women so that unsafety public space for women will be perpetuated.”

In the end, Nadya and Jasmine agreed that social media as digital space is not safe, comfortable, and conducive yet. On the other side, social media with its initial function as sharing platform make society takes benefit by using it as a tool for getting information. The emergence of problems related to advertising and inclusivity on social media is not only the responsibility of the platform and the government but also users who are aware of the various issues that are happening. Thus, users are expected to be more empathetic and take advantage of technology in a more positive direction.

Author: Septiana Noor M.
Editor : Firya Q. Abisono