Facebook: To ban or not to ban?

Posted on April 24, 2018  /  0 Comments

The Jakarta Post


by Ibrahim Kholilul Rohman and Ayesha Zainudeen

The Indonesian government is considering a ban on Facebook amid concerns of privacy breaches and potential abuse of the platform to influence the upcoming presidential elections through fake news and hate speech. Using the indicative survey data collected by LIRNEasia in 2017, on use of social media among other online services by 1,200 Indonesian citizens, the following article by Ibrahim Kholilul Rohman (Research Fellow at United Nations University-Electronic Governance) and Ayesha Zainudeen (Senior Research Manager at LIRNEasia) argues against such a ban. The authors argue that a ban on Facebook or other social media in Indonesia could have serious economic impacts, and could end up being futile, given the recent experience in Sri lanka:

“Certainly, a deeper analysis, using nationally representative data is required to better understand this phenomenon in Indonesia. But as a starting point, banning Facebook cannot be seen as a wise decision at the moment considering that people are starting to economize this platform, particularly in the SME sector which plays an important role in Indonesia’s economy.”

The article has been published in Bahasa Indonesia by business news outlet Kontan.co.id.

The survey data cited was collected by LIRNEasia in 2017 from over 1,200 Indonesians across the country on their mobile, Internet and social media use. This was funded by the Ford Foundation. The data was non-representative and can not be widely generalised, however it provides some insight into what some social media users in Indonesia use it for.

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