The International Symposium Conducted by Department of Communication Science of UMY Discusses Bad Impacts of Social Media

18Social and digital media are utilized to communicate and people mostly spend their time interacting in cyberspace. Digital media possess a lot of merits if people use the media wisely. For instance, we can leverage the media for business or communicate people far from us.

Nevertheless, as a coin possess two sides, social media have demerits and users may not be aware of consequences and risks of using the social media. Indeed, pros and cons often occur on the social media. Black campaign and hoaxes can easily be found in cyberspace.

The issues were the foremost topics discussed at the international symposium conducted by Department of Communication Science of Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta (UMY) on Monday (18/9). The symposium was a forum for lecturers of communication science to present their research findings on bad impacts of social media use. Keynote speakers of the international symposium were Dr. Hasrina Mustafa from USM Penang-Malaysia, Dr. Rachel E. Khan from University of Philippines, Dr. Smith Boonchutima from Chulalongkorn University – Thailand, Dr. Bert Barendregt from Leiden University – the Netherlands.

Chief of the international symposium Dr. Yeni Rosilawati, S.IP., S.E. wished that it could benefit communication science. “I hope that this international symposium yields a lot of discussions and experiences which can be valuable for communication media learning, particularly areas of social media,” declared Yeni at the symposium opening.

Meanwhile, Rector of UMY Dr. Ir. Gunawan Budiyanto, M.P. ­­mentioned three aspects of digital and social media. “I think that social media have three definitions, namely how to communicate with other people through digital media, tools or media used as information technology, and culture to control people who have understood functions of digital and social media,” he stated.

One of the topics discussed at the international symposium attended by 70 participants from various Indonesian universities was dealing with hoaxes which have recently been disseminated massively in Indonesia. “Hoaxes can be spread through online media such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. My research data showed that some people utilize media to disseminate hoaxes for black campaign of governor and president elections. Religious issues have broadcast massively and are difficult to be muffled,” presented Dr. Muria Endah Sokowati at a panel session of the symposium.

To find out whether or not new is a hoax, Muria recommended readers to recheck it. “If we received unclear news, we can ask our friends who have expertise in social media and search similar news in other media so that we will not easily be influenced by the hoax,” emphasized Muria.

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