(P28) From digital divide to techno-elitists’ social movement: Updates on digital activism in Southeast Asia


Single Panel


Session 10
Fri 11:00-12:30 K10 | 2.40


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The advancement of techno-driven social changes in Southeast Asia is currently being challenged by various factors, varies from digital divide to the government’s censorship over the digital sphere. Yet, people are further employing social media platforms creatively to exercise their socio-political agendas. This panel covers three different cases of contemporary digital activism in Southeast Asia. First paper discusses how the indigenous peoples of Sarawak, Malaysia utilize Facebook as a medium of resistance regarding their native customary rights (NCR) land and deforestation issues. Second paper examines how Indonesian Muslim middle-class and faith-based charity organizations re-organize their fundraising strategies via social media, mainly to minimize economic hardship (caused by Covid-19 pandemic) of lower income communities in the country. The third paper provides a comparison of students’ protests in Indonesia and Thailand in how these digital natives
powered themselves with social media playfully, not only to further amplify their political messages but also to avoid direct confrontation with their government’s censorship laws. Here we argue that despite various barriers, Southeast Asian digital activists try to renegotiate their relationships with digital media to overcome those obstacles. Further consequences of such strategies are also discussed in each paper.