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Since the issue of West Papua has become the region’s agenda from 2015, Indonesia’s propaganda has stepped up a notch and it is dominating Pacific spaces on social media.
Speaking during a public lecture at the University of the South Pacific, the Pacific representative for the United Liberation for West Papua (ULMWP) Ronny Kareni said West Papua still remains closed off to international media, and social media especially Facebook has been a platform for West Papua to expose Indonesia’s inhumane acts.
Kareni acknowledged social media as a useful platform that has supported the voices of West Papua, but stressed that Indonesia has flooded Pacific spaces on social media with sponsored propaganda pages, accounts and groups, “sometimes using indigenous West Papuan names, personalities or groups to divide West Papuans and confuse solidarity support for West Papua regionally and internationally.”
“Facebook has enabled West Papuans to share accounts of the abuse and torture by Indonesian security forces and this exposure has brought a lot of pressure on Indonesia. But over the past two years, we have seen a lot of sponsored platforms on Facebook using forms of West Papua’s struggle to promote what Indonesia sees as development for West Papuans.”
He said some of the Indonesian propaganda platforms on social media have defamed Pacific leaders who have supported West Papua, even publishing misleading information.
“Indonesia’s propaganda platforms on social media have not only targeted Pacific leaders but they have gone further to defame Pacific states like the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu,” said Kareni
SOURCE: YOUNGWANSOLWARA PACIFIC/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
Who & What is PINA?
International News Safety Institute (INSI)
Media Helping Media