Indonesian Youth Online - An Exploratory Study of the Indonesian Digital Landscape

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This exploratory paper is part of a series examining the role of the Internet in the lives of adolescents and youth living in developing nations. This report focuses on Indonesia and bases itself on secondary evidence gathered through a desk review of relevant literature. The report first presents the general context of Indonesia and the specific context of its digital landscape. Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) development of Indonesia has flourished in mobile access and use (Internet, texting), while lagging in computer and stationary Internet ownership and use. The ICT landscape in Indonesia provides a range of technological platforms to a population that exchanges overwhelmingly on western‐based websites. The next section investigates the use of ICTs by Indonesian adolescents and youth. Research identified a number of characteristics unique to the Indonesian digital landscape, including persistent digital divides based on socio‐economics, geography, and gender, as well as in ICT ownership, access, and use. Urban dwellers and males lead in Internet access, use,and social networking. However, as a whole, the nation leads in the world with the second highest amount of users on Facebook and third highest on Twitter. These staggering statistics point to the high engagement of adolescents and youth in content creation and consumption. There is also a need for awareness of the risks with high access and use. The report next discusses the types of safety risks faced online. Research shows that adolescents and youth face risks such as child pornography, talking to and meeting strangers, trafficking, software piracy,exposure to extremist content, and cyber‐bullying. The final section discusses public and private initiatives to increase opportunities for Indonesian citizens to optimally and safely access and use ICTs.


Akshay Sinha, Gerrit Beger, Priscillia Kounkou Hoveyda

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