Monday, 12 September 2022 09:49 WIB
Dimas Pangestu, 28, still remembers the impact of hate speech that was exhaled during the 2019 presidential and vice presidential elections. The man who lives in the city of Bandung said that his family members were split in two due to differences in political views.
According to Dimas, hate speech is an attempt to fuel one party to bring down another party. In the political context, hate speech can cause voice owners to be unable to think clearly and cannot think critically in studying the vision, mission and work program of the contestants for the election. Religious issues are one of the sensitive topics that are often raised.
“Hate speech is like a black campaign that brings down other parties without criticizing the work programs of other contestants,” Dimas told DW Indonesia.
As a result, voters cannot choose which information is right or wrong. The tension due to hate speech and incitement he felt was very tiring. According to him, in the upcoming presidential election, social media, especially TikTok, can be a ‘battle field’. Therefore, he feels the need to be a smart millennial voter so that he is not easily provoked.
“We can filter the content that enters our social media and verify any information to credible mass media,” said Dimas.
Meanwhile, Esti Lestari, 24, a student at a private university in Yogyakarta, was grateful for the healthy political discussion within her family during the 2019 election. Unfortunately, this kind of discussion cannot be obtained in a social environment.
“My friends tend to favor one candidate and there is coercion,” said Esti to DW Indonesia.
Stay enthusiastic about voting
Both Dimas and Esti said that it was possible that the 2024 presidential election would be colored by hate speech. However, this did not stop them from voting.
The survey results of the Kompas Gramedia Research and Analytical team together with Kompas Litbang published on April 8, 2022 said that as many as 86.7% of the millennial generation and generation Z were enthusiastic about using their voting rights in the 2024 election.
Dimas and Esti told DW Indonesia that they would not vote for election contestants who spread hate speech to increase electability.
Dimas hopes that in the upcoming elections there will be leaders “young politicians who have creativity, capability, and good political will.”
Meanwhile, Esti said that Generation Z needs to be more careful when receiving any information from social media. He can even identify hate speech, usually taken from pieces of information that are incomplete and affixed with degrading narratives.
Minority groups are targeted
Cecilia Jacob, associate professor from Australia National University said that the growing use and influence of social media has resulted in intolerance, discrimination and hate speech against minority groups, even against women.
Cecilia cites the UN’s definition of hate speech, which is any type of communication and speech, writing, or behavior that attacks or uses degrading and discriminatory language. This utterance can be uttered to a person or a group based on identity factors such as religion, ethnicity, nationality, race, skin color, descent, and gender.
Long-term efforts are needed to combat hate speech, said Cecilia at the Global Action Against Mass Atrocity Crimes (GAAMAC) dissemination workshop on Hate Speech and Incitement in the Asia-Pacific by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) think tank, early September in Jakarta.
In addition, he emphasized the importance of ensuring adequate legal protection for minority groups and vulnerable groups such as the formation of special laws to fight discriminatory behavior. He also emphasized the importance of fostering a tolerant and diverse society, as well as protecting victims through the judicial and police systems.
Need to embrace religious leaders
CSIS researcher, Alif Satria, said there are several things that trigger hate speech in Indonesia, including the rise of conservative religious beliefs, the aim of increasing electoral votes for politicians, and increasing perceptions that certain groups or individuals have or will threaten socio-economic capital.
Alif gave an example of several cases of hate speech that have occurred in Indonesia. For example, the violence experienced by the Shia group in Sampang, Madura in 2006 to 2012, the attack on the Ahmadiyah group in Bogor from 2005 to 2011. Finally, the case of alleged blasphemy that led to hate speech against the former Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama.
“There are many loopholes in government regulations that are vulnerable to abuse,” said Alif. He also regrets that criticism of the government is often considered as hate speech.
Meanwhile, Cecilia Jacob explained that efforts were needed to reach out to religious and political leaders to combat the spread of hate speech in Indonesia. Indonesians have a tendency to obey a figure they idolize, he said. (ae)