Indonesia presidential elections extend to Twitter, Facebook
Social media is the new campaign stage in the 2014 Indonesian presidential elections

JAKARTA, Indonesia – The 2014 Indonesian elections is being fiercely fought online, as much as it is being fought offline, using traditional campaign methods.
Ayee Macaraig is in Indonesia covering the run-up to the elections, and she filed this report.

It’s not Flappy Bird, it’s Go Jokowi!
In the country with the world’s number one Twitter city, this is the new campaign stage.
The heated race for Indonesia’s presidency plays out online in games, music videos, and hashtags.
Want to know the platform of Jakarta Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and former special formers general Prabowo Subianto?
There’s an app for that!
Flap Jokowi Man shows Jokowi dodging offers of cash, while Prabowo has “Our 6 Actions” depicts his policies and programs.
Both camps know they need to engage young netizens, with one-third of Indonesia’s 190 million voters aged 17 to 30.
But the negative campaigning offline becomes even more viral online.

FADLI ZON, PRABOWO TEAM: Social media is influential especially for young and first-time voters. So far we’ve been using social media for campaigning but too bad there are still a lot of black campaigns, especially through fake, anonymous accounts. It makes social media unreliable.

Social media also reflects realities on the ground, with Prabowo having a slick, top-down online army, while Jokowi has a less organized campaign.

ANIES BASWEDAN, SPOKESMAN, JOKOWI CAMPAIGN: It has become a new battleground for the campaign, and Indonesians were so exposed to social media nowadays that engagement in that area is very important. Our teams are also working on this. In terms of size, I think we have dominated. In terms of message, our message often not focused. This is perhaps the first election where social media played an important role.

But Indonesian youth are taking their own lead.
Youth movement Ayo Vote or “Let’s Vote” reaches out to young voters by gathering them to view election debates a la World Cup.

DISNA HARVENS, AYOVOTE: That’s the main problem it’s because in the past, politics from the New regime is dirty and people think politics is dirty and far from them. We try to educate by using pop culture like using social media. We play a game.

TV networks are turning off many young Indonesians with biased coverage of the candidates their owners are supporting.
But the success of events like Ayo Vote’s viewing party shows the youth are passionate about their country’s future.

JOHNSON PARDOMUAN: I’m not optimistic at first but now I see the young people in Indonesia participate more in politics, want to know more about politics, put their hearts and concerns in politics. We really hope there is hope for the future. 
Indonesia’s youth are using social media not just to promote their candidates, but also to ensure their votes will be counted on election day.

AYEE MACARAIG, REPORTING: On the eve of Indonesia’s so-called social media elections, the youth turn to the Internet and their mobile phones to help them decide who their next leader will be. Despite partisan traditional media, young voters are engaging in the polls by channeling their creativity and hope online.
Ayee Macaraig, Rappler, Jakarta


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