ASEAS 9(2) on New Media was edited by Dayana Lengauer and published in December 2016. Find all article downloads below!
- New Media in Southeast Asia: Concepts and Research Implications – Dayana Lengauer
Aktuelle Südostasienforschung / Current Research on Southeast Asia
- Mass Surveillance and the Militarization of Cyberspace in Post-Coup Thailand – Pinkaew Laungaramsri
Download PDF –Post-coup Thailand has witnessed a troubling shift toward censorship, surveillance, and suppression in cyberspace. With cyber security ranking prominently on the military’s agenda and the expansion of the military’s cyber intervention, the country’s online infrastructure has undergone politicization, securitization, and militarization. This paper argues that the militarization of cyberspace in Thailand represents the process in which cyber warfare capabilities have been integrated with other military forces and with support from the masses. This process has been effective through at least three significant mechanisms, including mass surveillance, surveillance by the masses, and normalization of surveillance. Social media have been turned into an absolute digital panopticon. Cyber dystopia, created by the 2014 coup and supported by the masses, has served to sustain a ‘state of exception’ not only within the territorial borders of the state, but also more importantly, within the virtual space of civil society. Cyber surveillance by the military and the masses has continued to jeopardize the already vulnerable Thai democracy.
Keywords: Cyber Dystopia; Cyber Witch Hunt; Mass Surveillance; Militarisation of Cyberspace; Thailand
- New Social Media and Politics in Thailand: The Emergence of Fascist Vigilante Groups on Facebook – Wolfram Schaffar
Download PDF –Since 2010, Facebook has become a battleground between competing political camps in Thailand. Facebook groups like the Social Sanction group, tellingly abbreviated as SS, and the Rubbish Collector Organization, which was founded in 2014 and has attracted more than 200,000 members, have played a crucial role in the process of political radicalization. The aim of these groups is to expose political opponents by accusing them of lèse-majesté, which can result in a prison sentence of 15 years or more. The groups also serve as fora for hate speech and are increasingly used as a tool of mobilization for state-sponsored mass events by the authoritarian regime that came to power with the coup d’état of May 2014. Contrary to its popular perception as a tool for democratization, Facebook has been successfully used by political groups reminiscent of fascist vigilante groups. This paper analyses the genesis of these groups and discusses the phenomenon in a broader political and historical context.
Keywords: Facebook; Fascism; Rubbish Collector Organization; Thailand; Vigilante Groups
- Changing Media Ecologies in Thailand: Women’s Online Participation in the 2013/2014 Bangkok Protests – Olivia Guntarik & Verity Trott
Download PDF –Traditionally marginalized groups now have more access to new and unconventional means to participate in politics, transforming the media ecologies of existing political environments. Contemporary feminist scholarship has centered on how women use new media technologies to serve political agendas. However, this literature focuses predominately on women in the West, while women in developing countries, or Asia more generally, have been largely excluded from analysis. This article aims to fill in this gap by examining Thai women’s online activities during the 2013/2014 Bangkok political protests. Specifically, we ask how the rise of social and digital media has altered what it means to participate politically in the context of Thai women’s present-day political experience. To answer this question we looked at how women resorted to various digital and social media to discuss women’s rights and political issues, including Yingluck Shinawatra’s political leadership as Thailand’s first female prime minister (2011-2014). Moving beyond traditional notions of participation, we argue that there is a need to recognize the emerging dynamics of women’s online engagement in the political landscape of Thailand. In the context of a totalitarian state, speaking out against the ruling authority online embodies an additional layer of citizen resistance, a feature of digital life that is often taken for granted in Western democracies.
Keywords: Bangkok Protests; Digital Activism; Media Ecologies; Participatory Politics; Yingluck Shinawatra
- Forming ‘Forbidden’ Identities Online: Atheism in Indonesia – Saskia Schäfer
Download PDF –This article discusses the online activism of Indonesian atheists. While most of the little existent scholarship on atheism in Indonesia views the controversial cases in the light of the violation of Western-style rights to free speech and religious liberty, a closer look at the public discourses both online and offline reveals a more complex picture. The article embeds atheist activism and the well-known case of Alexander An in the changing landscape of religion and state in post-Suharto Indonesia. It points at the intricate relationship between atheism and blasphemy and shows how activists not only carve a space for themselves online, but also seek to counter the negative and anti-religious image that decades-long campaigning has created for atheists. Activists use Facebook, Twitter, messaging systems, and forums such as Quora, both to become visible and yet allow for anonymity. Their online communication and activism is often coupled with offline meetings. In this way, atheists allow for a thriving ‘community’, and also present atheism positively in public. However, to defend atheism this way also has its downsides, as it aligns Indonesian atheists with an international network of mainly Western-funded human rights activists and thus runs the risk of further alienating them from a nation that strongly defines itself along religious identity.
Keywords: Atheism; Indonesia; Islam; Non-Religious Minorities; Social Media
Außerhalb des Schwerpunkts / Out of Focus
- Exploring Leisure Time Activities and Sociodemographic Indicators of Subjective Happiness and Self-Perceived Health Among Filipinos – Joseph Anthony L. Reyes
Download PDF –This study explores the relationships of subjective happiness and self-perceived health with leisure time activities and sociodemographic variables among Filipinos. It uses data from the International Social Survey Programme 2007: Leisure Time and Sports (ISSP 2007), and is the first paper that specifically investigates the case of the Philippines. Ordinary least square and multinomial logistic regression analyses were conducted in this study. Age was found to have significant negative relationships with leisure time activity engagement, subjective happiness, and self-perceived health. Body Mass Index was found to significantly predict a better self-perceived health. Cultural, TV/music, and social leisure activities were found to be significant predictors only in some of the outcome categories of happiness and health, whereas physical leisure activities were not found to be significant. Notably, subjective happiness and self-perceived health were significantly predicted by subjective socio-economic status, but not by actual family income. Implications of the results are discussed in terms of the Philippines’ context as a ‘developing country’ together with possibilities for an improved perception of quality of life among Filipinos.
Keywords: Leisure Activities; Philippines; Social Indicators; Subjective Happiness; Subjective Health
Forschungswerkstatt / Research Workshop
- Searching for Digital Citizenship: Fighting Corruption in Banten, Indonesia – Muhammad Zamzam Fauzanafi
Download PDF –The expansion of digital technologies and social media in Indonesia shifts practices of citizenship from a formal institutional level toward a more informal digital space. This paper presents the emerging results of research on digital citizenship in Banten, Indonesia, focusing on how new forms of citizenship are brought into being through digital acts that are defined as speech acts uttered through the use of social media. The paper follows digital acts of citizens in anti-corruption campaigns against the patrimonial and clientelistic regime of Banten’s political dynasty that are predominantly staged on Facebook and other online platforms. These digital acts produce and intensify affective publics through which forms of digital citizenship are enacted in opposition to the corrupt dynasty.
Keywords: Banten’s Political Dynasty; Corruption; Digital Acts of Citizenship; Facebook; Indonesia
- Mobile Technology in the Lives of Thai Immigrants in Germany – Sirima Thongsawang
Download PDF –This paper examines the role of mobile technology in the lives of Thai immigrants in Berlin. By using qualitative research methods, this research investigates how new digital and social media applications have affected the organization of Thai immigrants on both individual and institutional levels, with a particular focus on the Royal Thai Embassy in Berlin. Mobile technologies today are widely used in the diaspora, by both individuals and social institutions, to maintain relationships with the homeland and to promote national affairs. Both individual Thai immigrants and official staff of the embassy rely significantly on Internet sites, particularly on social networking sites such as Facebook, to gain information on Thailand and to expand their networks. This paper explores changes in communication and their implications for Thais and their respective institutions in Germany.
Keywords: Berlin; Mobile Technology; Royal Thai Embassy; Social Networking Sites; Thai Migration
Im Dialog / In Dialogue
- “If It’s on the Internet It Must Be Right”: An Interview with Myanmar ICT for Development Organisation on the Use of the Internet and Social Media in Myanmar – Rainer Einzenberger
Download PDF –Myanmar ICT for Development Organization (MIDO) is a non-governmental organization in Myanmar focusing on Internet and Communication Technologies (ICTs). Established in 2012, MIDO focuses on ICTs for development, Internet freedom, and Internet policy advocacy. In 2013, it organized the first Myanmar Internet Freedom Forum in Myanmar, supported by Freedom House. Phyu Phyu Thi is both co-founder and research and development manager of MIDO. She holds a master’s degree in sustainable development from Chiang Mai University, Faculty of Social Sciences in Thailand, and a bachelor’s degree in science from Yangon University. Her interests include technology and development, social media, diffusion of information, and behavior. Htaike Htaike Aung is co-founder and executive director of MIDO. She is working as a digital security and privacy consultant. She is also co-founder of the Myanmar Blogger Society and co-organizer of BarCamp Yangon – a user-generated conference primarily focusing on technology and the Internet which is part of a larger international network.
Keywords: Cyber Security; Freedom of Speech; Hate Speech; Internet; Social Media
Netzwerk Südostasien / Network Southeast Asia
- Workshop Report: Social Media and Islamic Practice in Southeast Asia, 14-15 April 2016, Institute for Social Anthropology, Austrian Academy of Sciences – Dayana Lengauer
Rezensionen / Book Reviews
- Book Review: Lwin, S. M. (2010). Narrative Structures in Burmese Folk Tales. – Zoltán Bódis