July 12, 2024

Challenges of Political Agenda Claims in the Fluidity of Social Media

There is a shift in political communication on social media. Candidates tend to highlight everyday politics rather than celebrity politics. The language used is lighter, more inclusive, and focuses on the daily activities of the candidates. In the pattern of everyday political communication, there is no element of overtly political aspects being emphasized.

“There is a competition for space in the more fluid political interactions on social media, which manifests in three aspects: interactions through symbols, language, and visuals. The existing narratives reflect the development of branding for specific candidates,” expressed Arga Imawan, a lecturer from the Department of Politics and Government at Gadjah Mada University (UGM), during the discussion on “Iklan Politik di Media Sosial dan Transparansi Pendanaanya” [Political Advertising on Social Media and Its Funding Transparency] organized by the Center for Digital Society (CfDS) at Gadjah Mada University at BRIWork Fisipol UGM (12/8)

Arga also mentioned that the digital space, in certain aspects, eliminates the boundaries of campaign time. The findings from the Big Data analysis by CfDS indicate that the construction of the image of political candidates participating in elections occurs every day. For example, the frequency of political communication by presidential candidates in the 2024 elections on social media.

CfDS recorded that from January 1, 2014, to October 8, 2023, Anies Baswedan actively engaged in political communication with 4,700 tweets on social media platform X (Twitter). Prabowo Subianto, from October 1, 2013, to October 8, 2023, had 2,543 tweets, while Ganjar Pranowo had 86,301 tweets from January 1, 2014, to October 8, 2023.

“The problem is, as political communication patterns become more fluid, it becomes increasingly challenging to detect what candidates are aiming for and to discern the nuances of political campaigns within it,” said Arga. []


Translated by Catherine Natalia