Asia Business Channel

Indonesia urged to create its own national social media

The Indonesian Internet Service Providers Association (APJII) has said that the recent announcements by Facebook that more than 87 million files of U.S. citizens as well as an estimated 10 million international user files have been leaked should provide the momentum for Indonesia to develop its own social media alternative to Facebook.

Tedi Supardi Muslih, a spokesman for the APJII said in a press release on April 2nd that: “The Indonesian society should not just merely be users.”

According to an APJII poll, Indonesia had more than 143 million internet users in 2017 out of a total of 262 million Indonesian citizens. According to the poll, the majority of these people utilize the internet to interact through social media and more than 49% of internet users are millennials who are spread across the country.

APJII spokesman Tedi said that the Indonesian internet population has massive consumer potential and that Indonesia should create its own social media that is characteristically Indonesian. Tedi said that China shows its own unique Chinese “character” through social media platforms such Baidu, Weibo, and Wechat in the same manner that Facebook shows it’s American character.

According to data from Statista.com, the leading social networks in Indonesia, as of the 2017/3rd quarter are: 1 – YouTube, 2 – Facebook, 3 – What’s App, 4 – Instagram, 5 – Line, 6 – BBM, 7 – Twitter, 8 – Google Plus, 9 – Facebook Messenger, 10 – Linked IN and 22 – Skype.

Rubi Alamsyah, a leading Indonesia digital forensic expert shared the same sentiments as the APJII’s Tedi, and said that only Indonesian privacy and data protection laws can protect Indonesian citizens and that citizens should not rely on data protection laws in other countries. He also said that: “the issue of data protection should be prioritized by the Indonesian government and all major Indonesia cyber stakeholders including private enterprises and government institutions.”

The APJII said that Facebook’s recent data breach is a harsh reminder on private data security and that it urges that a private data protection law be included in national legislation.

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