Jakarta -A social media account looks normal, not merely uploading posts, memes, or photos about Indonesian politics. Alex also often uploaded his self-broken heart writing, or a delicious breakfast menu photo.
Not to forget to put interesting photos of others in the fake profile photo column, medsos, on average are photos of beautiful women.
However, the fake accounts that Alex made not just to have fun in cyberspace.
“This is a war,” Alex told The Guardian reporter who met him at a cafe in Central Jakarta, as quoted from the British media on Tuesday (24/7).
“When you’re at war, you use whatever is available to attack your opponent,” Alex said.
“But, sometimes, I feel disgusted with myself,” he added.
Working as a buzzer Ahok
Several months in 2017, Alex – not his real name – admitted that he was one of the more than 20 important figures who joined forces in the secret cyber world for DKI Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama.
At that time, Ahok – Basuki’s nickname – became a candidate for incumbent governor in the 2017 DKI Regional Election. Alex, along with other buzzers, worked continuously uploading writings, memes, and photos containing messages so that the public would again choose Ahok. Of course, it was uploaded to social media through fake accounts.
Buzzer is the name for someone who works like Alex. Buzzer defined as a social media user with followers amounting to at least 2,000 people. They are paid to promote certain goods or figures through a series of uploaded posts.
Paid IDR 4 million per month
To The Guardian reporter, Alex revealed that he had to create fake accounts on social media.
“They tell us you have five Facebook accounts, five Twitter accounts and one Instagram, telling us to keep it a secret,” he said.
“They said it was a ‘war’ and we had to keep the battlefield, and not tell anyone about where we work.”
Alex revealed, his team consists of Ahok supporters and students are lured by a fee of US $ 280 or equivalent to Rp4.071.900 per month. They allegedly worked in one of the luxury houses in the Menteng area, Central Jakarta.
“Every day, each of us uploads 60 to 120 materials on Twitter and Facebook fake accounts,” he explained.
Religious blasphemy in the 2017 DKI regional election campaign
In elections DKI 2017, Ahok took Djarot Saiful Hidayat as his representative. As a petahana candidate, Ahok is considered to be from a minority, a Chinese-blooded Christian.
Ahok competes with the eldest son of former sixth President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono, and former Minister of Education and Culture, Anies Baswedan. The party of political democracy Ahok must also face attacks on alleged tainting of religion.
He was also attacked by racial discrimination. A number of anti-Ahok groups staged a massive demonstration in the name of religion. Demonstrators called for Ahok to be imprisoned for alleged blasphemy.
Ahok was finally sentenced to 2 years in prison for the alleged blasphemy case. The verdict was read by the judge in the trial at the Ministry of Agriculture, Ragunan, South Jakarta on May 9, 2017 ago.
The message that Ahok is a person who tarnished religion, was promoted heavily in social media by a blurry online movement known as the Cyber Army Muslim, or MCA, which employed hundreds of fake and anonymous accounts to spread racist and hardline Islamic content designed for changing Muslim voters against Ahok, wrote The Guardian.
Work to fight anti-Ahok sentiments
Alex said his team was employed to counter the flood of anti-Ahok sentiments, including the tagar criticizing opposition candidates, or laughing at their Islamic allies.
Just like Alex, MCA is also a buzzer that makes hundreds of fake and anonymous medsos accounts to spread the message of Ahok-penoda-agama. The MCA also spreads the message that the public no longer chooses Ahok in the 2017 elections.
“I and others, working the other way around, are employed to fight the anti-Ahok sentiments in social media, including tag critiques of opposing candidates,” he said.