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From ‘buzzers’ to restrictions: Indonesia’s internet freedom declining, says report

Indonesia has witnessed a decline in internet freedom over the past year, largely as a result of on-and-off restricted access to social media and manipulation of content for political gain during the April elections, according to Freedom House’s latest report.

The think tank’s Freedom on the Net 2019 report on Indonesia’s internet freedom ranks the country as “partly free”, scoring 51 in a scale of 0 to 100 ─ with 0 considered least free and 100 most free ─ a slight decline from its score of 54 in the previous year.

The report, which is based on an evaluation between June 2018 and May 2019, revealed that despite steadily increasing internet penetration, Indonesians still face obstacles to surfing the internet because of the government’s intermittent restrictions on social media.

The restrictions were imposed mainly following the polarised presidential election in April between President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and losing candidate Prabowo Subianto, with the latter’s supporters alleging Jokowi’s victory was the result of electoral fraud.

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