Malang – The second meeting of REALS 2021 was held on Friday, 1st October 2021. It started at 1.30 p.m. (GMT+7) with an introduction of the speakers and their interest in academic fields by the moderator. The first speaker who gave a lecture on this meeting was Dr. Novi Kurnia. She is an Associate Professor and a member of the editorial board of political science, Department of Politics and Government, Universitas Gadjah Mada.
Dr. Novi Kurnia delivered the material “Social Media For Combatting Disinformation in the Time of Corona”, one of her projects that are related to social media. First of all, she directly showed the audience the statistics and data of social media users in Indonesia, which is massive since Indonesia has the fourth highest population in the world. “Time spent using social media on average is about 3 hours and 40 minutes longer than other activities,” she said.
Nowadays, there are many kinds of social media platforms that people use, such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, WordPress, etc. The existence of those applications made it very easy to get information and spread it out. However, social media also brings challenges. During this pandemic, not only information, but social media also causes disinformation.
The danger of corona is not merely on the virus itself, but also the disinformation that happens everywhere. Disinformation, a situation where false information is consciously shared to cause harm, creates confusion in society about the ways they can do to fight the coronavirus. Therefore, Dr. Novi said that there needs to be a movement in digital literacy programs to counter disinformation. In order to do that, the role of stakeholders is very important.
When the lecture finished, the moderator received three questions from the participants. The first question was related to disinformation in Indonesia during the pandemic and how we could contribute to combat it. In response, Dr. Novi shared her opinion, in which disinformation also happens in other countries, especially in developing nations such as Southeast Asia and South Asia. However, in Southeast Asian countries, especially, the amount of disinformation is enormous. Hence, she said that we should fast-check doubtful information before giving it to other people.
The second question deals with our attitude when receiving misleading information in whatsapp family groups. To answer this, Dr. Novi Kurnia told the audience to message the group directly when there is a hoax. In addition, we also need to provide the facts and give verification. The last question was about people who refused to get vaccinated because of their strong religious tradition. Answering this, Dr. Novi believed that, sometimes, religion added with a low educational background, causes people to easily believe misleading information. “If that happens, the law must be enforced,” added Dr. Novi Kurnia.
The first session finished with a very interesting discussion. It was then continued with the second lecture of the day, by Dr. Inaya Rahmani from Universitas Indonesia. She is the Director of Asia Research Center and a lecturer in the Communication Department, Faculty of Social and Politics, Universitas Indonesia. She is also the coordinator for Akademi Ilmuwan Muda Indonesia, whose research focuses on the cultural politics, economy of religion, media, and knowledge. In this opportunity, she delivered a material entitled, “The Cultural Political Economy of Social Sciences in Indonesia.”
Dr. Inaya Rakhmani opened the lecture by telling her journey to find out the meaning of what she does. She asked the participant about their vision for the future. One of the participants, Abileo, responded to the question, saying that he was still confused with the future. But he hoped to become a great teacher because he feels like he can find meaning when he shares his knowledge with others. Other participants also answered that they wanted to continue studying for a masters and be a lecturer in a private university.
As a social and humanities researcher, Dr. Inaya Rakhmani talked about structural barriers that usually occur in everyday life. One of the examples is the education system.
“The education system that measures students’ success in the classroom is a constant obstacle for us to become good teachers and academics,” Dr. Inaya mentioned.
That is because, sometimes, the parameter of success in the classroom does not accurately represent the real condition of students. Sometimes, teachers just want to do what they believe is right based on their social values.
In this lecture, Dr. Inaya Rakhmani talked a lot about how to find out the meaning of something we do. She shared her insight about how to face the challenges within our career and answered any questions from participants about their experience of having poor teachers.
REALS 2021 has just begun, and there will be other interesting lectures in the next meeting.
Author: Rizka Salsabila Mafa’idah
Editor : Indah Herliani