Category Archives: commentaries

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#‎QZ8501‬

Imagine that one day you were just watching television and suddenly heard news about a missing plane. And you were oblivious to the fact that someone in that plane was your loved one. Minutes later, you saw a familiar name in the list of passengers. Suddenly it felt like someone had knocked all the air out of you. You went numb. Your heart sank. And your blood ran cold. All at the same time. Those cliche phrases that you thought only exist in a fiction suddenly turned real. Worse, in your next minutes, hours, and days, that very same television screen would replay the tragedy over and over again, scene by scene, bits by bits, like a never ending nightmare.  Continue reading

[Lim’s lecture] Social Media and Urban Activism from the Arab Spring to Hong Kong

On November 6th, 2014, I delivered the Canada Research Chair public inaugural lecture entitled: “Roots, Routes & Routers: Social Media and Urban Activism from the Arab Spring to Hong Kong”.

I managed to merge the actual recording of my lecture and the slideshow I prepared for and had shown during the lecture. So, here it is (the prezi is accessible through this link, but it’s also embedded below). Click “start prezi” button and then click the  button on the left corner to listen to the audio.

Unlike this light 10 minutes speech of mine, this one is based on years of comprehensive research and rather long.

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An Outsized Role for Social Media in the Indonesian Election

An excerpt of my interview with The Asia Digital Life (original link is here)

by: Patrick Sharbaugh (@psharbaugh)

Social media and digital platforms played a massive role in Indonesia’s historic presidential election earlier this month. With the official result still out, I talked to Asian Internet scholar Merlyna Lim about how Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, and innovative open-sourced platforms for crowdsourcing election monitoring and the vote count made this election unique.

A few highlights of our conversation:

Of 255 million citizens in Indonesia (which makes it the world’s third largest democracy) there are over 77 million citizens online — and 50 million of those are eligible to vote. There’s a very active social media landscape in Indonesia, and the social media activism community there is particularly vibrant. Continue reading

Vote for Virtue and Wisdom, According to Dead Philosophers

published in Magdalene

Plato once said, “In politics we presume that everyone who knows how to get votes knows how to administer a city or a state. When we are ill…we do not ask for the handsomest physician, or the most eloquent one.”

Shall we argue against Plato? Of course he is correct. But in the ancient Greek where Plato lived there was also no television, let alone social media. Continue reading

Objectivity vs Neutrality

[terjemah bahasa indonesia di bawah]

Nobody can be free from bias, but as a scholar I should always exhibit a bias toward objectivity. Being objective has always been the goal.

Objectivity, however, should not be confused with neutrality. One should not hesitate to be partial and in fact it is imperative to be so, if after a careful investigation of the facts one can conclude that truth lies on one side or one simply is a better choice. Continue reading

[Archive] Brazil’s controversial plan to extricate the internet from US control | World news | theguardian.com

Below is a copy of The Guardian’s article, dated Sept 20th 2013. It includes a couple quotes from me.

From: The Guardian, 20 September 2013 

Brazil’s controversial plan to extricate the internet from US control | World news | theguardian.com.

Brazil's president Dilma Rousseff with Barack Obama at the White House

Brazil’s president Dilma Rousseff is proposing a controversial set of measures to wrestle Brazil’s internet from US control. Photograph: Carolyn Kaster/AP

When Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff postponed her official visit to the US in protest of National Security Agency spying activities on Tuesday, it seemed like a routine bit of diplomatic posturing.

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