From Social Networking to Activism: The Role of Social Media in the Free West Papua Campaign

Pacific Studies Journal, Vol. 39, Issue 3, pp. 255-280

26 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2017

See all articles by Jason Titifanue

Jason Titifanue

University of the South Pacific; La Trobe University

Jope Tarai

University of the South Pacific

Romitesh Kant

The University of the South Pacific, Suva

Glen Finau

University of the South Pacific

Date Written: December 31, 2016

Abstract

Social Media applications such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have exponentially increased in popularity and outreach. They have come to play an integral role in social networking, business marketing, and more recently, as a political tool. Social Media in politics is now being utilized in a multifaceted manner for political campaigning, as a means for citizens to voice their political opinions and as a medium of activism. With the highly censored media present, social media has become a powerful tool in West Papua’s fight for sovereignty. Free West Papua Facebook pages, Twitter accounts and YouTube Channels have emerged, broadcasting the atrocities and human rights violations committed in West Papua. This study seeks to explore the role of social media is playing in West Papua’s continued struggle for independence from Indonesia. This exploratory research scrutinizes social media and how it has been utilized by Oceanian activists as a means of disseminating and articulating messages of West Papuan freedom. The paper also examines the potential that social media has to foster the rebirth of a bottom up approach to Pacific regionalism.

Keywords: West Papua, Online Activism, Social Media, Public Sphere, Pacific Politics

Suggested Citation

Titifanue, Jason and Tarai, Jope and Kant, Romitesh and Finau, Glen, From Social Networking to Activism: The Role of Social Media in the Free West Papua Campaign (December 31, 2016). Pacific Studies Journal, Vol. 39, Issue 3, pp. 255-280. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2935731

Jason Titifanue

University of the South Pacific ( email )

La Trobe University

Institute for Human Security and Social Change
Victoria 3552, 3086
Australia

Jope Tarai

University of the South Pacific ( email )

Romitesh Kant

The University of the South Pacific, Suva ( email )

Glen Finau (Contact Author)

University of the South Pacific ( email )

Laucala Campus
Suva
Fiji

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
198
Abstract Views
905
rank
153,287
PlumX Metrics