Patterns of Truth: Explaining Trust, Social Media and Truth in Indonesian Contemporary Politics

Abstract

This study analyzes the utilization of social media in political communication processes in the post-truth era. Today, the utilization of various social media has had a significant impact on the process of politics worldwide. Facebook and Twitter are the most popular social media platforms in the world, therefore, the most used in politics. Both of them directly influence the democratic process. The lack of transparency on social media platforms, however, has become a major problem. Information on social media is often misleading and ignores facts and truth. Social media users can easily disseminate unverified information to other social media users. Moreover, in the age of post-truth, people tend to disclose themselves to ideas, values, and opinions that they have already accepted, instead of the true facts. The objective of this research is to assess the usage of social media in the democratic process in the post-truth era. Therefore, the research question is: how do people use social media to seek truth and trust in politics in the age of the information overload? Using phenomenology as the method, the main focus of this study is the experience of the informants. The results of this research suggest that social media can be used as an opportunity for, as well as a challenge to democracy. Besides playing a role in the democratic process, social media can be a dangerous weapon in political discourse. That is why critical thinking is needed so that we can distinguish between true or factual information and fake news delivered through social media.