Good news travels fast, bad news travels even faster."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The social media has evolved into an effective tool to gain votes for political parties, politicians, or presidential candidates in Indonesias 2014 General Elections, stated Social Media Observer Sony Subrata.

Campaigning through social media was considered to be more effective than the traditional approaches of using banners or leaflets to attract votes, Sony Subrata remarked during a seminar on the use of technology for election here on Thursday.

"Now, younger voters are not easily influenced by political campaign commercials broadcasted on television channels. However, if one of their friends talks about the good quality or program of a certain candidate, they will more give credit to that," Subrata pointed out.

One of the advantages of social media is that it diminishes the physical barriers in connectivity.

"When people hear good things about a candidate, they will immediately share this information through social media channels. Good news travels fast, bad news travels even faster," Subrata emphasized.

Although the social media users in Indonesia, in this case Twitter, are only 30 million, of which 20 million are active users, they still are an influencing factor.

"When there is only one child in a family using social media, he or she will share information about certain candidates to all his or her family members," noted Subrata, who has been a political consultant for some prominent figures such as Jakartas Governor Jokowi and Minister Dahlan Iskan.

Whereas a buzzer, a Twitter account having two thousand or more followers, tweeted to support or attack certain candidates, the effect will be monumental, he added.

Moreover, conversation in the social media can be monitored to predict the winners of the elections.

On the same occasion, a young political observer Anisa Santoso, who received a doctoral degree from the University of Nottingham, stated that social media and internet played a vital role in the UKs 2010 elections.

The Conservative Party garnered the maximum votes in the elections by campaigning through the social media.

"Social media exposure of non-popular candidates might even help them win the elections as long as they frequently showed up on television or media. People become curious about them," Santoso remarked.

Meanwhile, Director of the Center for Elections and Political Parties Reni Suwarso pointed out that the perception of Indonesian voters had changed since the 2009 elections.

"In 2009, people were very enthusiastic to vote, while in 2004, the enthusiasm was low while pragmatism rose high, especially in the young generation," Suwarso reported.

Therefore, every candidate should map their potential target voters in their campaign.

The people residing in the city and suburban areas have become potential voters for the elections and a target for the social media campaign, she noted.
(Uu. INE/KR-BSR/A014)

Reporter: Aditya E.S. Wicaksono
Editor: Priyambodo RH
Copyright © ANTARA 2014