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The Internet, Social Media, and Political Information.

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Presentation on theme: "The Internet, Social Media, and Political Information."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Internet, Social Media, and Political Information

2 The Internet Low cost information End of geography

3 Recent precedents: information and communications technologies Ayatollah Khomeinis tape cassettes Thailands 1992 mobile phone mob Arab Spring and social media

4 Southeast Asian cases The Internet and the end of Suhartos rule in Indonesia in 1998 Social media to boost the political opposition in Singapore Use of Internet, social media, community radio in Thailand

5 Lecture plan Impact of new technologies on politics How these media have been used in SEA Focus on: Indonesia Singapore Malaysia Impact on new movement politics in Thailand Quality of political information how much should citizens know quality of deliberations

6 Information and politics Accountability Boosting the supply of information Elite strategies Keep them in the dark Draw the fangs of the mob

7 Medium as message Internet as social medium Reinforcing trends toward privacy niche audiences Deliberative engagements?

8 Democracy and citizens knowledge Citizens as voters Citizens as active participants in their polities Minimal knowledge requirements of citizens as voters

9 Making democracy meaningful Defining democratic competence down Cues from leaders Heuristic devices (ideology)

10 Enabling citizens political communications Newspapers finding one another

11 Ubiquity of Internet and social media in SEA ASIA INTERNET USAGE AND POPULATION ASIA Population ( 2011 Est.) Internet Users, (Year 2000) Internet Users, Latest Data Penetration (% Population) User Growth (2000- 2011) Users (%) in Asia Brunei Darussalem401,89030,000318,90079.4 %963.0 %0.0 % Cambodia14,701,7176,000255,6601.7 %4,161.0 %0.0 % Indonesia245,613,0432,000,00039,600,00016.1 %1,880.0 %4.3 % Laos6,477,2116,000527,4008.1 %8,690.0 %0.1 % Malaysia28,728,6073,700,00016,902,60058.8 %356.8 %1.8 % Myanmar53,999,8041,000110,0000.2 % 10,900.0 % 0.0 % Philippines101,833,9382,000,00029,700,00029.2 %1,385.0 %3.2 % Singapore4,740,7371,200,0003,658,40077.2 %204.9 %0.4 % Thailand66,720,1532,300,00018,310,00027.4 %696.1 %2.0 % Timor-Leste1,177,834-2,1000.2 %0.0 % Vietnam90,549,390200,00027,855,71130.8 %13,827.9 % 3.0 %

12 Indonesia Convivial medium low cost ease of use broad availability difficulty of monitoring, censoring Cyber-civic spaces battling suburbs, mobility, privacy

13 Bringing down Suharto, 1998 Highly monitored society Turn to the Internet Information cascades

14 Information campaign Suharto as enemy Solidarity among his opponents (ephemeral) State in corrupt hands Society able to organize itself independent of the state

15 scandals Social media bringing attention to malfeasance Boosting turnout in demonstrations

16 Malaysia Considerable censorship Utusan Malaysia and the NEP Malaysiakini news website Social media amplifying offline chatter

17 2008 elections Barisan Nasional lost its two-thirds majority Effective use of Internet, blogs, SMS, YouTube, listserves

18 Bersih 2.0 July 9 rally Social media expanding circle of participants

19 Singapore More Facebook users than voters Nicole versus Pei Ling a watershed for social media?

20 Conclusions More information Ephemeral coalitions?

21 Additional readings? Trendnovation Southeast Asia issue on Digital Politics, September 2010, Merlyna Lim, Cyber-Urban Activism and the Political Change in Indonesia, in EastBound Journal, 2006,

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