It is unavoidable that social media greatly affects electoral politics in Indonesia. Social media became the media for electoral candidates to winning the competition. The Presidential election 2014 was an important momentum that marked the involvement of social media in Indonesian politics, which continued to the Jakarta regional election. This was observable in the heated polemics during the Jakarta regional election. Social media users, whether residents of Jakarta or not, debate intensely for their favourite candidate. Hoax spread all over the country, buzzers and haters helped make the social media traffic high.
Based on data from Jakarta Election Commission, the number of young voters between 17-30 years of age that are active use the social media is 1,990,390. Winning the battle on social media will certainly affect the result of the election.
Four students of UGM, Indah Tavania Muttaqien, Albert Sudirman, and Miftah Farid Mahardika, all from Politics and Government Studies department, and Tio Tegar Wicaksono from Faculty of Law UGM, said that social media have given a big influence on the Jakarta election. The research done from 16-19 April with 400 samples taken from across Jakarta with the multistage sampling method showed that 60% of respondents said that social media had affected them to exercise their right.
“This figure is big enough with over half of young voters exercise their right due to social media encouragement ,” said team chairperson, Indah Tavania Muttaqien, when disclosing their research to journalists on Friday (16/6).
The research is a Socio-Humanities research entitled “Digital Native in Indonesian Election: Jakarta Election”. As high as 90% of respondents said the social media affected them greatly to determine who they were going to vote. “Only as little as 10% of young voters are not affected by the social media in their choice of candidates,” said Tio Tegar Wicaksono.
Tio said wars of ideas and creativity on social media could determine the entire results of political contestation. He concluded that controlling social media can be the winning key in the regional, even presidential elections.