On Facebook, Indonesian elections rival World Cup fervor

Victor Barreiro Jr.
On Facebook, Indonesian elections rival World Cup fervor
Those invested in the Indonesian elections make over 200 million interactions on Facebook, enough to rival the interactions made during the Brazil-Germany World Cup match

MANILA, Philippines – With Twitter playing a role in shaping discussions online about the Indonesian elections held Wednesday, July 9, it’s no surprise that Facebook also had its own share of healthy engagement. Facebook interactions regarding the Indonesian elections rivaled the recently held World Cup match between Brazil and Germany.

According to a Facebook spokesperson, there have been over 200 million interactions – comprised of comments, posts, shares, and likes – on the social network site regarding the Indonesian election. There are 69 million active Facebook users in Indonesia.

More than two-thirds of the interactions, Facebook notes, were made by those aged 34 and under. This seems to point to a trend of younger users being more social and open about their thoughts on the country’s future, and likely about their hopes for its next leader.

Nearly 18 million Indonesians saw the “I’m a Voter” megaphone on Election Day in Indonesia, according to Facebook’s Andy Stone.

The healthy engagement for the Indonesian elections falls around the same area as the 66 million people who generated 200 million Facebook interactions related to the match between Brazil and Germany on July 8, a few days prior. (READ: Indonesia election extends to Twitter, Facebook)

More information on social media sentiment can be found on Facebook’s Indonesia Election Tracker.

The Indonesian youth, who make up a third of the voters, turned to social media during the campaign and election day amid perceptions of a biased media. 

The country’s traditional media, which only began enjoying freedom after the fall of Suharto, has been divided. The owners of two of the largest TV groups in the country – MNC TV Group (MNC TV, RCTI and Global TV) and the Bakrie Group (ANTV dan TVOne) – support Prabowo. On the other side, the owner of MetroTV, the leading 24-hour news channel, supports Jokowi.

While both Jokowi and Prabowo are claiming victory in Indonesia’s polls as the nation awaits the official result, social media itself managed to win big by garnering the attention of eager participants who wanted to have a voice, and a vote, in the Indonesian elections. Rappler.com

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Victor Barreiro Jr.

Victor Barreiro Jr is part of Rappler's Central Desk. An avid patron of role-playing games and science fiction and fantasy shows, he also yearns to do good in the world, and hopes his work with Rappler helps to increase the good that's out there.