Amid waves of backlash against the newly passed Job Creation Law, Indonesian K-Pop fans emerge as a formidable force in the social movement to protest against the controversial law through the digital world, a report has found.
These social-media-savvy people helped to echo criticisms against the law and the House of Representatives through Twitter, making hashtags such as #MosiTidakPercaya (vote of no confidence), #DPRRIKhianatiRakyat (house betrays the people) and #TolakOmnibusLaw (reject the omnibus law) trending topics worldwide, according to big data consulting company Drone Emprit.
Drone Emprit founder Ismail Fahmi said a single big cluster of conversation related to the law dominated Twitter from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday, during the first wave of news about the bill being passed by the House posted by national media.
“There was only one big cluster; the cluster of those who oppose the omnibus law. [Twitter] accounts of academics, university student bodies, NGOs, activists and K-Popers [K-Pop fans] all unite to support each other inside this cluster,” Ismail said via his Twitter account @ismailfahmi on Monday.
“From the Twitter avatars of top influencers [who are] against the omnibus law, it was apparent that accounts with K-pop avatars dominated the conversations,” he added.
One of the top influencers among the Indonesian K-Pop community on Twitter, @ustadchen, who has more than 140,000 followers, also tweeted about the law on Monday and gained more than 37,000 likes.
“Since all of you are brave, I will be brave too. To be honest, I am illiterate about politics. The [laws] in [South] Korea are completely different from what we have here [in Indonesia], so I am still confused about the political news here,” @ustadchen wrote, “Anyway, I have read a lot about the #omnibuslaw and I understand where the problem is.”
The post has also been retweeted more than 9,000 times with hundreds of engagements.
Twitter users who protested against the law expressed their appreciation to the K-Pop fan community in helping to amplify their concerns about the law, which many critics said would undermine labor rights and prolong environmental destruction.
“Demographically, [K-Pop fans] are the largest generation of social media users. If they didn’t really know about the omnibus law, they joined the hashtag campaign and learned about it,” Ismail said.
Later on Tuesday, Ismail clarified his own statement, saying that “Most K-Pop fans did know about [the omnibus law].”
He also noted that most of those who were engaged in echoing protests against the law were mainly non-partisan public.
It is not the first time that members of the K-Pop fandom have proven that they are politically aware and capable in driving online campaigns.
In June, global K-Pop fans proved themselves to be a powerful political force by wading into social media protests against racism and police brutality in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement in the United States.
Following the US$1 million donation to the BLM movement made by global K-Pop megastar BTS, fans also raised $1 million in just over a day for organizations that help black people.