A rupiah for Superman’s thoughts

What Unspun loves about the bloggersphere is that no matter how crazy the world gets and no matter what bandwagon everyone else gets on there is someone out there skeptical enough, prescient enough and with enough cojone to call things as they see them.

Such a bloggers are gems because they validate those of us who sometimes begin to doubt our own perceptions of the world because it seems so at odds with everyone else, even people we socialize and respect. One such gem is ManusiaSuper.

Prior to reading his latest posting (below) Unspun was looking at the whole Coins for Prita (Mulyasari) movement with some visceeal unease. There is something amiss about the whole thing and thoughts were percolating in Unspun’s mind, waiting for the time it spills over into a blog posting.

Then, after reading the blogpost and ManusiaSuper’s take on the movement, things began to fall into place for Unspun, so here’s some thought’s that’s gone through Unspun’s mind on the Coins for Prita and other online movement.

1. The Net has made it very easy, perhaps too easy, for people to get on a cause bandwagon.

In the old days you had to have the kind of commitment to go out on the hot dusty (or wet, rain-drenched and muddy) streets to make yourself heard. These days all it takes is to set up a website, blog, Facebook page or Tweet with a catchy hashtag and voila! you have a cause. The ease with which others can join in also makes it almost, and often, an unthinking exercise, more on the league of keeping up with the Joneses than fighting for something heartfelt, which leads me to the next point…

2. Is it the cause or is the cause something else?

What are the supporters of Coins for Prita actually supporting or fighting for? Are they against the draconian aspects of the UU ITE,at which case wouldn’t it make more sense to camapign for an amendment or repeal of the law? Or are they against the perceived obtuseness and arrogance of Omni International Hospital, at which case organizing a boycott of the hospital would make more sense?

As Unspun sees it, it was excessive for the prosecutors to jail Prita for her complaints that probably originated from bad customer service from Omni Hospital in addressing her grouses in the first place. But for the hospital to sue her for defamation is fair game. Organizations and businesses have a duty to protect their reputations too. This is not saying that Omni is right; this is recognizing that Omni has the right to protect its reputation through legal means. It is now up to the court to make that decision. If it makes an asinine one then the protestors can make common cause against the law being an ass.

Unspun suspects that the real reason behind the Coins for Prita movement is more a manifestation of a sense of frustration at the general injustice of the entire Indonesian legal system. This is a system in which a grandmother that stole three cocoa pods and a grandfather that didn’t even steal a bunch of bananas can be convicted and punished when the rich and powerful not only get away scot free but parade their ill gotten wealth with impunity; a system where policemen on meager salaries can wear luxury watches and drive cars costing several years of their salaries, and get away with it.

This is a system that is dysfunctional and needs to be forced to change, yet the agitators, fomentors and activists are not tackling the causes but the symptoms, such as Ibu Prita’s high-profile persecution, instead.

3. At the end of the day, are the online activists doing a favor to Indonesia or doing it a disservice?

It is difficult to argue against motherhood, apple pie, koalas and good intentions for seemingly worthwhile causes. But what if the ease in which to take up causes on the Net and misplaced good intentions are resulting in a lot of sound and fury that achieves little, rather than focussed campaigns that make a lasting impact on society?

When the double bombing of the Ritz Carlton and Marriott hotels took place it spawned the #indonesiaunite movement. Unspun then wondered whether all that energy and earnestness to do something for Indonesia would amount to anything if it was not channeled to something more focused (What comes after #indonesiaunite?). Many in the movement objected to this line of thought but where is the movement now?

Koin Untuk Prita, Apakah?

Desember 6, 2009 at 9:54 am | In Uncategorized | 25 Comments

Keadilan telah direcehkan!

Keadilan telah direcehkan!

Sebagai awal, marilah saya tegaskan dulu satu hal; saya menolak segala bentuk ketidak adilan dengan alasan apapun.

Dan satu lagi; saya percaya Ibu Prita Mulyasari adalah korban ketidak adilan dan perlu mendapat dukungan.

Masalahnya adalah, dukungan seperti apa?

Seperti diketahui sebagian besar aktivis online, kasus hukum pencemaran nama baik yang dituduhkan Rumah Sakit OMNI International kepada mantan pasiennya Ibu Prita Mulyasari terus berlanjut.

Berita terakhir, Pengadilan Tinggi Banten memutuskan Ibu Prita Mulyasari harus membayar ganti rugi sebesar 240 juta rupiah atas pencemaran nama baik yang konon dilakukannya lewat email.

Sebuah angka yang fantastis hanya karena mengirimkan email bukan?

Ya, logika awam menyatakan ini adalah ketidak adilan.

Lalu secara spontan (term spontan mungkin tidak tepat, mungkin memang terencana, mungkin tidak), para seleb aktivis dunia maya bergerak, menyampaikan pesan berantai, dan akhirnya tercipta sebuah gerakan untuk mengumpulkan koin recehan untuk membantu Ibu Prita Mulyasari membayar dendanya.

Nah, mulai dari sini, mari kita bersinis-sinis ria…

:mrgreen:

Continue reading Koin Untuk Prita, Apakah?…

via A Journal of A Not-Superman Human.

I thaw 10,000 fathes in a thea of red and white

A few days ago Unspun, and Anita Mackay in our respective blogs, asked what next after #indonesiaunite, at that stage a Twitter movement comprising of Indonesian Twitterers changing their avatars to red and white themes and using the hashtag #indonesiaunite.

Today, a group calling themselves The Twibbon Team responded with a website with this visual below as centerpiece that works well with Silverlight.

The idea apparently came from Stormideas that is based in Edinburgh (Unspun doesn’t know what the connection is here) and it’s very visually arresting. Whether this will inspire other ideas with even more tangible effects remain to be seen but initiatives like this, the initial spurt of #indonesiaunite on Twitter resulting it it at one time being the top trending topic and the Prita Mulyasari case leads Unspun to be more convinced than ever that 2009 is a watershed year for social media in Indonesia.

What we see is a flourishing of creativity and a sense of empowerment as the younger generation in Indonesia find a common voice through the tools of the New Media. Where it will lead, what all this will change, will be something fascinating to watch.

10,000 Supporters for IndonesiaUnite cause – A Twibbon Twibute

On Friday 17th July 2009, terrorists, presumed by authorities to be suicide bombers, launched co-ordinated attacks on two up-market hotels in Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital. Nine fatalities were confirmed, whilst at least fifty more people were reported injured in the atrocity.

As a worldwide audience gradually learned of these events over the subsequent hours, many began to form part of an extraordinary online movement, which has grown exponentially since in a moving and powerful display of solidarity. By Sunday 19th July, just two days later, the IndonesiaUnite Twibbon cause has already brought together 10,000 supporters on Twitter from across the globe. Tweeple used the Twibbon service to overlay a small icon depicting the Indonesian flag on the corner of profile avatars. #IndonesiaUnite supporters have ensured that their cause has remained the number one Twitter trend, eclipsing other popular online topics such as Michael Jackson and the Iran Election.

To celebrate this awesome demonstration of the power of social networking communities to unify in protest on a matter of such international significance, Twibbon have created a massive DeepZoom mosaic twibute to those individuals who have affiliated themselves visually with this important and inspiring cause.

The movement is still flourishing, and you can help spread awareness across the world. Join at http://twibbon.com/join/IndonesiaUnite and follow @Twibbon at http://twitter.com/twibbon.

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Indonesian Twitterers to be featured on Metro TV

Indonesian Twitterers at the forefront of the #IndonesiaUnite movement are getting their 90 minutes of fame from Metro TV. The movement has managed to keep #Indonesiaunite as a top trending topic in Twitter worldwide since the bombing last Friday. Trending topics tell Twitterers th world over which are the hot topics being Tweeted about at the moment.

It is an act of defiance and an act of solidarity to tell the world that Indonesians refused to be frightened by the bombings. The key players are also talking about leveraging the momentum of the movement into something more lasting.

This from the blog of Aulia, one of the key members of the #indonesiaunite movement.

MetroTV Special Dialog on #IndonesiaUnite

What
Special Dialog on MetroTV. 

I’ve been asked to gather a list of people from Twitter who would like to be in the audience at their studio. The show will feature discussions about the bombing at Kuningan last Friday morning and the IndonesiaUnite movement that began on Twitter which has practically taken over Twitter for the past five days, as a response to the incident.

It will also have performances by Slank, Efek Rumah Kaca, Pandji Pragiwaksono, Oppie Andaresta, and Jose Rizal Manua.

IndonesiaUnite is a movement that aims to show the world that Indonesians are not afraid of terrorists and instead of hiding, will drive to protect, preserve, and advance our way of life. It is also being used to tell the world that there is more to Indonesia than they may know.

It is not only a movement on the internet, it is being pushed offline also to show the rest of the country that there are people who care about driving the nation forward, that there are ways to make this country a better place, and that a nation is nothing without its people.

Where
MetroTV Studios, Kedoya

When
Live show from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm. 
Must be at MetroTV by 5:30 pm. 

for the rest read here

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What comes after Indonesia Unite?

Unspun can understand and empathize with the seeming act of solidarity and defiance in the face of the Jakarta bombings with the Indonesia Unite movement, where Twitterers and Facebookers daub their avatars in red and white, the colors of the Indonesian flag. At the same time Unspun thinks that Anita has raised an important question in her blog, Finally Woken.

“But here I must ask one question. Is that it?

I think most Indonesians are deeply traumatic by the media coverage on the previous attacks that sent the country into a despair for a long time. We all suffered from the damage in the economy, travel warning, the crash of national tourism industry, lack of foreign investments and many other impacts on the bomb blasts since 2002. It has taken years to build the confidence and positive sentiment about Indonesia. No one wants to suffer like that again, to lose face so badly like that, hence the strong message sent that we do not agree with the attack.

Not that I disagree with the movement. I do appreciate the initiation, but I don’t see the long term benefits we would make by putting red-and-white flag in our avatars. And it seems that The Jakarta Globe agrees with me: But some Web users were skeptical that the swelling of online patriotism would have any lasting impact. “This incident has had much bigger impact on patriotism among the young than 30 years of propaganda,” technology journalist Aulia Masna wrote on Twitter. “But yesterday’s call for unity needs to be followed up by offline activities.”

I think the most important thing we should do from this so-called Indonesia Unite pressure group is to push the government, our government, to find who did this. We are too scared that the impact of the attack would be like the bombs in 2002-2004, we have forgotten to keep pestering Indonesian government to be committed 100% to find the terrorist and would not rest until we do. We’re having too much fun pointing our fingers to A or B as the mastermind of the attacks, forgetting our duty as citizens is to make sure our government does the job right. No, I haven’t seen any single message in twitter – or I might have missed it? – that urges the government to keep reporting their findings, and what the progress they have made since the attack. Wouldn’t it be more important for us to unite to monitor what they have been doing – rather than making visits to the victims and giving emotional and moving speech to the nation? Have they formed special task forces to handle the victims, the search, and more importantly, the security in the country’s capital city? – and to make sure those behind the attack will be punished? And it is not just that, we also need to be consistent on our pressure and make sure they don’t waste their energy accusing who did this and that without actually doing anything to find the evidence.

We all have to do something, something real, to minimize the future attack possibility, starting from daily activities. For example, the government must improve the registration system so people wouldn’t be able to create fake IDs easily, but we – Jakartans especially – also must stop being ignorant to our surroundings and alert the authorities if we see something suspicious.

On the same day as the bomb blasts in JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton Jakarta on Friday July 17th, BBC broadcast a pretty interesting news about 20-year-old middle-class, British-born man, educated at some top independent schools, who converted to Islam in 2006 and was ready to commit the suicide attack in Bristol, England. It has emerged it was Muslims who alerted police in Bristol and counter-terrorism officers from Scotland Yard to Ibrahim’s activities. The BBC understands that his arrest was the first major one following a community tip-off.

Why can’t we do that?

Really, having our national flag attached to our avatar is nice, but it takes more than that to create peace in Indonesia, don’t you agree?”

Expressions of solidarity and defiance are a great way to cope with the shock of the bombings. But unless they are transformed into something more enduring and constructive, they may not mean much in the long run. In addition to Anita’s suggestions Unspun thinks that one of the ways Twitterers can contribute is to become the de-facto guardians of security. How may times have we all experienced the inane and utterly motions that “seurity guards” go through in check in our bags and vehicles. How many of us thought it totally ridiculous that security guards can poke a metal detector into the car, which is made mostly of metal, and register nothing? Or the perfunctory walk through metal detectors that are not switched on, of if they are switched on and buzz, they are too lazy or intimidated by a well dressed person to frisk them? Or the stupidity of guards going through hand carry bags but waiving through roll-on lugguage?

Wouldn’t it make sense to harness the power of Indonesian Twiterers to be the watchdogs that these guys are doing their job properly? If, for instance, someone found that the security procedures at a hotel or public place is wanting, they would tweet about it and hashtag it, say, #laxsecurity. Newspapers and other news organizations can then check for these and shame the offender into putting their security measures right, or the Polce could get off their ask and sanction them for having lax security.

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