Social Media: Democracy in the Shadow of Fanaticism

Sulih Indra Dewi, Akhirul Aminulloh


Social media as a new democratic space has offered many possibilities to access information and interaction with other users but at the same time, can endangers the life of democracy itself. The research aimed to find out the types of fanaticism in social media and how it can endanger the life of democracy in Indonesia. This research was conducted in Malang from April-August 2016 and used descriptive qualitative method with interview and documentation as data gathering techniques. Meanwhile, the sampling technique was a purposive sampling and used interactive model from Miles & Huberman data analysis with three components namely: data reducation, data display and verification or conclusion withdrawal. The research results showed that there were two types of fanaticism in social media; politic and religion fanaticisms. Both types promote their ideology through fanpages, personal accounts and websites that circulate in social media. This research also found that fanaticism could endanger the life of democracy because it would not allow differences and againts the principle of democracy where diversities are celebrated. Some fanatic postings ignited debate and conflict and some other silently brain-washed people to be radical. Social media has cultivated fanaticism and ignited conflicts among people. It has become a “war zone” where anyone can say anything to anyone including some sensitive issues such as religion, politic and race.


Keyword: social media; democracy; fanaticism

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