The Freedom to Express Opinion Through Social Media: A Study of Higher Degree Students in Jakarta and Vicinity


This study aims to identify how higher degree students use social media to express their opinions circumventing the limitations imposed by the Information and Electronic Act in Indonesia. The students, in this fashion, conform to the roles defined in The Youth Act which require them to bravely and wisely speak up for what is right. There are three questions which were posed: 1) do the students use social media to express their opinion; 2) what types of matters are discussed; and 3) do the students think that they are free to express these opinions on social media? This research applies a qualitative approach. The data was gained through interviews. There are 12 members of student bodies who were interviewed. They come from 5 different universities in Jakarta and vicinity. The results are: 1) all of them use social media, however not all of them critical opinions of the government via this medium; 2) 50% felt that students function as agents of change; and 3) around 40% of students feel they have the freedom to express their opinion vis social media and agree with the limitations imposed by government regulations. Therefore, it can be concluded that the students manage to express their opinion through social media and perform their roles as stated in the Youth Act.

Keywords: social media, freedom to express opinion, higher degree students

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