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Information Wars in Southeast Asia

30 August, 2019 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

In recent years, the internet and social media have become the arena for ideological and security battles. Much optimism about the role of digital resources in promoting knowledge and democratic values has turned into preoccupation that they are rather a source of authoritarian control and misinformation. Freedom of expression and its boundaries are increasingly contested as policies are introduced that at times blur ‘stifling rumours’ with ‘fighting dissent’ (see also https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Asia-Insight/Asia-s-war-on-fake-news-raises-real-fears-for-free-speech).

To better understand the current situation in Southeast Asia, SEA Junction will hold a panel on 30 August at 6.30PM. Using the cases of Indonesia and Thailand (while also referring to Malaysia and Singapore among others), panellists will explore the tensions between efforts to limit the impact of malicious and fake news and other forms of misinformation and the importance of maintaining freedom of information for all those involved in democratic processes and particularly dissonant and minority voices. In particular, the panellists who will share their views and experiences on this issue are:

  • Savic Ali, Director NU Online, Indonesia
  • Janjira Sombatpoonsiri, Thammasat University, Thailand
  • Yingcheep Atchanont, I-Law, Thailand

Short bios

Savic Ali is the director of NU Online ( www.nu.or.id ), the most popular Islamic website in Indonesia and the founder and editor of Islami.co a website to promote values and campaigning moderate and peaceful Islam to counter radical narratives. He also volunteers with the Gusdurian Network. Previously he was with various electronic platforms including Nutizen Indonesia and Voice+.

Janjira Soombatpoonsiri is assistant professor in international relations at Thammasat University. Currently, she is an associate fellow at the German Institute for Global and Area Studies and an academic advisor for the Washington-based International Center for Nonviolent Conflict. For a recent article on the panel’s issue see https://thediplomat.com/2019/07/fake-news-and-thailands-information-wars/

Yingcheep Atchanont is programme manager at I-law is a Thai legal monitoring NGO that focuses on freedom of expression in Thailand. See further www.ilaw.or.th

Caption: Anti-Fake news public campaign in Malaysia. The Anti-Fake News Bill introduced in 2018 by Prime Minister Najib Razak was eventually repelled after the fall of his administration. Image credit: https://cilisos.my/wait-why-do-we-need-fake-news-laws-when-we-have-defamation-laws/

For information/reservation for our events please email southeastasiajunction@gmail.com or phone/wa: +66970024140

NB: Events are free, but donation most welcome!


SEA Junction, OUR Venue on Southeast Asia 
SEA Junction aims to foster understanding and appreciation of Southeast Asia in all its socio-cultural dimensions –from arts and lifestyles to economy and development. Conveniently located at Room 408 of the Bangkok Arts and Culture Centre or BACC (across MBK, BTS National Stadium) SEA junction facilitates public access to knowledge resources and exchanges among students, practitioners and Southeast Asia lovers. For more information see www.seajunction.org and join the Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/1693055870976440/


30 August, 2019
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Category:


SEA Junction, Room 408, BACC
939 Rama 1 Rd, Pathum Wan, Khet Pathum Wan, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10330 Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok, Thailand
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