As in the physical world, discrimination is also a severe problem in the digital world. The sense of anonymity in online spaces, as well as the blurring of online and offline environments, may foster rude and hostile behaviour among some internet users who disregard the person behind the computer screen. For some, making fun of others on social media might seem harmless. But what may seem as a trivial, time-wasting activity can cause trauma that many victims find difficult to recover from.
The impact of a careless comment can be long-lasting, which is why it is important for internet users to act responsibly, according to Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) Director Asfinawati.
“Checking the facts [prior to posting a comment] is very important. We also must analyse. Will our comments harm us? Or will it harm other people?” Asfinawati said. “Sometimes we think these are only words, but these can land some people in prison, and the consequences are serious.”
Episode 2 of the Podcast Disko! series by EngageMedia and KBR Prime discusses how social media facilitates discriminatory behaviour, particularly when it comes to sensitive topics such as religion. For instance, the stigma attached to certain beliefs have real-life negative impacts on those who subscribe to these beliefs. (Related: Pretty Good Podcast Episode 15: Freedom of Religion and Expression Online in Indonesia Part 1)
In conversation with Asfinawati, the episode discusses ways to prevent discrimination and what can be done to create a friendly online space that mirrors social behaviours in offline and face-to-face conversations.
Tune in to the episode, available in Bahasa Indonesia. The series is part of the Challenge project by the Association for Progressive Communications. Listen to Episode 1 here.
Check out the episode on Spotify:
Listen on KBR Prime: