Social Media as a Deradicalization Instrument

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Social media is becoming very popular and has a big impact on every individual and society. Almost all smartphone users use data connection services and have a number of social media accounts like Whatsapp, BBM, Facebook, Instagram, Twiter, Blog, and more. Spectrum coverage and ease of use of social media to make mass communication facilities familiar in various layers of society as well as massive used for various purposes. The hope to use the account more and more make many people feel comfortable using social media. This is what makes Social media become very strategic for the interests of users either Positive or negative.

Intensively individuals are exposed to various information through social media. In fact, communication through social media can provide individualized impressions. How the impact of information transmission through social media will depend largely on the messenger’s expertise in constructing (encoding) information on one side, and on the other depending on the knowledge and experience framework of the individual or target community in decoding or parsing the information it receives. For individuals and societies with limited knowledge and experience structures, the messages in social media are so intense as to hegemonize the mindset and mensugesti on certain actions effectively according to the interests of the communicator. Such a situation is analogous to the concept of the Hipodermic Needle where the physician and patient relationship are subordinate, and the patient will receive with the totality of all diagnoses and prescriptions given by the physician. This subordinate and one-way communication pattern creates a false awareness for the recipient of the message. The abundance of this information triggers the emotional and psychological unrest that is used to justify a particular action.

This pattern is seen from the scattering of various information in social media which is often used for the sake of political competition, as the previous Election of DKI Jakarta, as well as the propaganda of cells of radical groups and terrorists recruited members and garnered mass support.

Social media took an important role in the mobilization of religious anti-defamation actions suspected of Ahok. Starting from the widespreadness of Ahok’s speech through Social media, developed into a wave of mass action nationally. A similar way is also done by the Ahok supporters group who use Social media to counter issues that are considered to mock Ahok in the virtual network.Begitupula with radical organizational cells such as ISIS, HTI, which often publishes various political propaganda materials. Through Social media with everyone can transmit messages anytime and anywhere, as well as to anyone, be it peer to peer or bulk.

Hegemony Instruments

The world’s problems today are confronted with how social media can turn into such a massive means of mass communication if not properly managed. NATO in its research has included social media as a weapon in hybrid war in addition to other conventional weapons. Also with US.Air Force sponsored research on Social media which concluded it as “as a new strategic warfare” in 2012. This shows how strategic the function of social media in various Interests, including nonconventional wars. Through social media, an individual, a society, even a state can be mastered by its mindset.

This is also realized by radical groups and terrorists who use social media as a “weapon” in the war to win support and spread the acts of terror. A real example is the Truck attack carried out by the Tunisians by crashing into a crowd at the Christian Market in Berlin, Germany, 11 November 2016. Perpetrator known to have connected with Twitter and Facebook account that publishes ISIS’s Rumiyah Magazine which contains “Terror Tactics” as a guide for ISIS sympathizers in Europe and the United States to target public activities such as in markets, festivals, parades and political parades. Twitter itself has shut down about 360,000 accounts allegedly linked to terrorist networks since mid-2015-2016. In 2016, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Microsoft also collaborate and apply technology to identify materials such as videos and images uploaded by cells and terror networks, including closing the accounts they use. However, unfortunately the European Commission claims that only about 43% of accounts Characterized by content that calls for radicalism and terrorism to be removed.

The use of social media by radical groups has certain communication patterns to master the mindset and direct the behavior of the target. Just look at Bahrun Naim who uses Telegram, Blog, and other social media accounts to recruit people and teach terror techniques and bomb assembly. Approximately 30 thousand people From various countries joined ISIS after being affected by propaganda through the online network. Actively, the administrators / admin accounts of social media radical organizations target both random and selective targets for specific interests, such as recruitment, fundraising, or sympathizers. In this pattern, the transformation is not only related to radical concepts and ideologies, but also includes certain technical skills to realize the radical beliefs that have been formed. Cognition, affection, and target orientation can quickly be mastered and stimulated leading to certain actions.Social media is thus a weapon Which is controlled to do to radicalize certain targets.

Radicalization can occur without active action from radical group account managers or admins targeting specific targets. In some cases, self-radicalization phenomena occur in individuals after interacting with social media accounts that are prepared as information channels by radical groups and terror. As an illustration, if we happen to be disappointed to buy a car that is not in accordance with the advertised and then connected to the network Facebook or social media account that experienced similar things, we will feel attached and easily tersugesti with opinion in the social media group. Content in the group will be the information channel for exposing the disappointment after buying a car, and the group account managers or admin can exploit the psychological situation by inculcating certain ideas and directing them to specific actions, including the idea of burning a showroom or car manufacturer.

For the radical site manager and account of social media, their information channels provide thematically to memframing various characteristic issues in the community. ISIS terrorist groups have at least dozens of online account networks containing various genres of propaganda issues to gain mass sympathy. The experience in Indonesia also shows similarity with the existence of social media accounts that promote radical ideas, provocative and manipulative information. It must be admitted that competition in the 2014 Presidential Election to the 2017 Jakarta Regional Head election is marked by the massive social mediaaccounts, especially the anonymous broadcasting of radical and provocative content that leads people to certain aggressive acts, such as hatred for people, groups, religions, ethnicity.

Deradicalization Through Hegemony Contra

The process of radicalization and self-radicalization through social media occurs because the exposure of such a massive information successfully hegemony discourse individuals or society effectively. Individuals or societies not only experience a change of perception, but also the orientation of a particular phenomenon or phenomenon that becomes a major issue in radical group messages. In the process of radicalization, the speed of impact can occur when the emotional and latent aspects within the structure of an individual or society can be exploited appropriately. Individuals or communities can instantly change quickly from attention to action after exposure to Social media information. If Social media messages are transmitted is an emotional message intended to move people into anarchist or terror acts, it can be imagined the damage that can be inflicted if messages like this suggested millions of people In Indonesia is very diverse.

Social media is a progressive product that contains two sides, which can encourage the progress and destroy the community. Positive, Social media can glue the communication and interaction of people who are apart distance and time. Positive messages can also be transmitted through Social media which access and the cost is relatively cheap and Realtime. Geographic and demographic obstacles can be overcome through Social media whose unlimited lifespan is in line with the growing virtual network connectivity that is easily accessible to all levels of society. In connection with the phenomenon of radicalization and self-radicalization through Social media, then deradicalization can also be done with Social media. The process of hegemonic discourse run by radical groups and terrorists can not only be prevented by using technology, but also by building a counter hegemonic message to counter radical discourse and terror.

Deradicalization is an ideological warfare and ideological discourse of alternative counter ideas and discourse of ideological interpretation of radical groups. Deradicalization aimed to legitimate the source of ideas and ideological discourse constructed by the intellectual groups behind the propaganda of terror and at the same time toevict radical ideology with moderate alternative discourse. Thus, Deradicalisation can be a way of changing the perspective and mindset of sympathizers and radical groups, as well as giving a new orientation in responding to the propaganda of other radical groups. In the process of deradicalization, Social media is a very strategic mass communication tool to be used as long as it is put in the right strategy and technique.

Experience shows that the technological approach to controlling Social media is often ineffective such as sensor mechanisms and content filters and account closures. The ease of technology and access, including anonymity, will re-enrich the Social media radical account of its propaganda. Deradicalization through Social media should integrate efforts to transform public awareness of the public about information. The increasingly intelligent people in using Social media will have the ability to sort the information obtained so that it is not easily affected by the radical content in Social media. The issue of strengthening the technology to filter the radical content is also an important step. Social media governments and providers should be able to forge effective cooperation and commit to protect interests Society from exposure of content that endangers the public, especially the content of radical groups and terror.

In addition, deradicalization operations through Social media can not ignore communication strategies for counter-radical content-dominated hegemonic discs. Alternative information channels producing counter-radical issues and content need to be reproduced as literacy reference for the community. Information containing alternative content has been so limited and lost in the mastery of mass opinion opinion that has left people trapped in framing scenarios by radical groups through Social media. These measures must be offset by law enforcement in order to provide a deterrent effect and drag the radical content and terrorist spreaders to the green table. The existence of the National Cyber Council and related parties needs to pay particular attention to the traffic transmission of information that could endanger the country’s security.

*) The author is a senior researcher at the Center of Risk Strategic Intelligence Assessment (CERIA) Jakarta.