Covid-19 and Academic Freedom:
Containing Discourses with Digital Media
Inaya Rakhmani is Assistant Professor at the Department of Communication, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Universitas Indonesia and the head of the International Undergraduate Programme. She is also communication director and member of the Indonesian Young Academy of Sciences (ALMI). Inaya has an interest in the cultural political economy of knowledge, information, and entertainment as well as the role of media in processes of democratisation. She is the author of Mainstreaming Islam in Indonesia: Television, Identity and the Middle Class published by Palgrave MacMillan, 2016.
Covid-19 and Academic Freedom: Containing Discourses with Digital Media
In pandemic-ridden Indonesia, social distancing has moved academic discussions online. While this has provided new avenues in the form of webinars for academic panels to overcome space barriers, it has also opened up ways to monitor academics and themes critical of state ideology. Moreover, some academic talks are regularly attacked with “Zoombombing”, or anonymous accounts signing in to the panel to disturb the flow of panels. Significantly, such bombings can be effective in containing the kinds of themes that can be talked about publicly, without any direct repression and disbanding necessary.