The 2019 Indonesian Presidential Election: Propaganda in Post-Truth Era

Akhirul Aminulloh, Myrtati D. Artaria, Yuyun Wahyu Izzati Surya, Kamil Zajaczkowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Presidential elections often are colored by propaganda and post-truth politics in its campaign to influence public opinion. This study aimed to identify the way and forms of propaganda and post-truth communicate political messages from the 2019 presidential election in Indonesia through political communication on social media. This research employed a mixed-methods approach that combines quantitative and qualitative methods. The quantitative data were obtained from Twitter with social network analysis (SNA) from December 2018 to March 2019. Meanwhile, the qualitative data were obtained from literature searches and expert interviews. The results of this analysis indicated that presidential candidate Jokowi was widely rumored to be a liar, claimant of success, weak leader, communist, pro-China, and anti-Islam. There were also many rumors that referred to presidential candidate Prabowo as a pro caliphate, human rights violator, person with a questionable religion, bad-tempered person, inexperienced leader, and hoax spreader. These negative issues constitute propaganda in the form of stories, rumors, and myths that were manipulated to influence public opinion on social media. Some parts of society believed them based on emotional belief instead of on rationally observed facts. We conclude that even when it involves many people in a big nation, propaganda can be manipulated to influence public opinion.
Original languageEnglish
Article number8
Pages (from-to)135-150
Number of pages16
JournalNyimak: Journal of Communication
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2021


  • Propaganda
  • post-truth
  • social media
  • political communication
  • presidential election


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