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Use social media wisely, avoid identity politics


Jakarta – People are asked to be wiser in using social media. Apart from avoiding hoax news, they must also stay away from identity politics. The reason is because identity politics can disrupt the campaign period and inflame hostility in society.

Netizens in Indonesia are in the top 5 in terms of the most users on social media. It would be nice if the ease of interaction on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook was used to support government programs.

The power of social media is enormous because 1 status on Facebook or Twitter can be read by thousands of people and 1 photo on Instagram can even be seen by millions of netizens around the world. We should use the ease of connection with other netizens for positive campaigns.

By understanding the power of social media, people should use it wisely. They must not abuse social media accounts to spread identity politics, especially during the 2024 General Election (Pemilu) campaign.

The definition of identity politics is when a politician who is a candidate for legislation (caleg) or presidential candidate (Capres) uses his identity to campaign. For example, he favors that he comes from a certain race, graduated from a certain university, or adheres to a majority belief.

Identity politics can be a cause of election chaos because each tribe/group feels that they are the best, and so they are at war with one another. This is dangerous because even though every Indonesian citizen has the right to support a different candidate or presidential candidate, it does not mean that they have to go to war. Unity must still be prioritized, even though the political choices are different.

People who have been poisoned by the spread of identity politics on social media campaign negatively by attacking candidates or other presidential candidates who are seen as their enemies, then presenting a narrative that people from certain ethnic groups or groups cannot become president. Negative campaigns like this can cause friction when the election takes place.

Researcher at the Center for Religion and Democracy Studies (Pusad) Paramadina University, Husni Mubarok, explained that identity politics can develop from rumors, hate speech, to incitement to hatred. These forms have the potential to lead to dehumanization which legitimizes someone to commit violence.

Husni continued, if there are indications of dehumanization or conditions that do not humanize other groups based on identity, action should be taken. Especially during the election period, identity is like dry grass that easily catches fire. That is, it is very easy to be used to attack other people, one of which is through hate speech.

In that sense, the spread of identity politics must be prevented, especially on social media. The reason is because identity politics can lead to hate speech and the election campaign is getting hotter because the three sides of the presidential candidate’s supporters are attacking each other.

An example of identity politics on social media is when there is a narrative that only presidential candidates from certain ethnic groups can become president. Indeed, this model of campaign can increase voters from the same tribe. However, the bad impact can trigger hostility from other tribes because he does not accept being humiliated by others who are superior.

Identity politics that is spread on social media is very unhealthy because it causes more hostility than an increase in voter votes. Hostilities during elections can have fatal consequences because it thwarts this important program. Then, hostilities can also inflame grudges for years, even after the election is over.

Society must be wise in using social media and avoid identity politics because post-election grudges are terrible. Social media went from being a place for hanging out on the internet, to being a place of hostility, swearing at each other, and calling names and names.

When there are parties who insist on promoting identity politics on their social media accounts, they have the potential to spread hostility. This is very bad because he could be subject to the ITE Law for spreading hoaxes and propaganda on the internet. He must be held accountable for his mistakes in prison.

Meanwhile, the Director of the Center for Media and Democracy Studies at LP3ES, Wijayanto explained, in general, identity politics emerged after the declaration of the presidential and cawapres candidates. The approach to the 2024 election is quite different. Polarization has not been seen because a year before the General Election, not all presidential and vice presidential candidates have been declared by the supporting political parties.

Wijayanto continued, the discussion that developed in the community ahead of the General Election had become unproductive. Society is fixated on the issue of identity politics and sidelines more important substantial discussions such as economic inequality, corruption, tax issues, to environmental damage. All of this is due to the spread of identity politics on social media.

Identity politics uses identities, such as religion, ideology, race, ethnicity and culture as tools and mobilization of political interests. In this case, public opinion is manipulated to become a vessel for these sentiments. Therefore, people are encouraged to remain wise in using social media and avoid identity politics. Do not campaign negatively because there is UU ITE.

The public continues to be urged to use social media accounts properly and not to create chaos during elections, by spreading identity politics. There is more to lose than to gain if there is identity politics. Don’t let the Election be chaotic, even fail, because of identity political campaigns on social media.

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