Yogyakarta, May 18th, 2020 - In digital age, almost all aspects of human life have been affected by technological advancements. Activism has also become a socio-political activity that has not escaped the role of technology. To discuss more about the role of technology in facilitating digital activism, Center for Digital Society (CfDS) held its 25th Difussion series, by inviting senior researcher from Manchester Metro University, Dr. Adi Kuntsman. Paska Darmawan, MS. as CfDS’ researcher also attended the discussion which was held via YouTube live streaming on Monday (05/18).
The Phenomenon of Selfie Politics
With the presence of social media, people have a new habit of uploading their selfies to the social media platform. Looking at this phenomenon, Dr. Adi sees that there is a paradigm shift that selfies are now no longer personal thing, but it can also be used as a means of expressing political motives. For example, Dr. Adi points out that Israeli military members uploaded their selfies while they’re on duty, with various hashtags showing political motives behind them, such as #WeAreComingForYouGaza. With this phenomenon, it becomes interesting to see how this selfie photo can contribute to the formation process of citizenship, considering that citizenship is not necessarily a 'given', but 'enacted', and this selfie activity is a form of effort in ‘enacting’ people’s citizenship. "If a selfie photo is able to be used to express various political motives and form a new type of citizenship, then what form of citizenship will be formed from this selfie politics phenomenon?" concluded Dr. Adi.
The Role of Twitter in Organizing Social Movements
Starting from the 'Gejayan Calling' movement, Paska examined how Twitter contributed to the process of mobilizing the 'Gejayan Calling' movement. Using social network analysis and content analysis methods, Paska examined the conversations that occurred during the period before the offline movement of ‘Gejayan Memanggil’. The data taken showed that the peak of interaction about this movement occurred at 21.00 WIB, the day before the ‘Gejayan Memanggil' movement directly took the streets. "Social media, or in this case Twitter, is very helpful in organizing the 'Gejayan Memanggil' movement, because the cost of disseminating information is relatively cheap, the information can also spread quickly, and social media also provides a new 'space' for young activists who want express their views and contribute to any social movements," said Paska.
Writer: Raka Wicaksono