APSN Banner

Presidential office denies ties to 'buzzers'

Tempo - September 4, 2020

Dewi Nurita, Jakarta – The leading expert at the Presidential Staff Office (KSP), Donny Gahral Adian, strongly denies rumors suggesting that the Presidential Palace had organized 'buzzers' to amplify the government's achievements.

Donny argues the buzzers conduct their work independently which does not enable the government from 'controlling their actions.'

He maintains the government only publicly announces its programs and achievements through official spokespersons.

"Controlling means that the government organizes them, well, I could if I was the organizer, but in this case, they are working alone. We cannot do anything about it, except if there are complaints that they have harmed someone," said Donny to journalists on Friday, September 4.

"These buzzers have nothing to do with the government," he asserts.

This follows the finding by Tempo Magazine's editorial team published on Monday, August 31, revealing President Jokowi's in-law Andi Wibowo had recruited a social-media-savvy figure in 2019 identified as Pepih Nugraha, claiming that he had been paid by Jokowi's social media team.

According to the magazine report, Pepih would often publish articles across a number of platforms using several accounts – both anonymous and identifiable accounts – with the former, he claims, are used as "buzzer" accounts. Pepih also revealed that he would echo his own writing on social media.

He also acknowledged that these social media campaigns are in the grey area and that the impressions that are generated from internet users that are attracted by this activity can be calculated clearly. According to Pepih, the team he follows would more than often reiterate the president and VP's statements in each of the team member's social media account.

Based on the information Tempo gathered, Andi is rumored to continue as the president's liaison with the social media team after the 2019 presidential election had ended.

Tempo reached Andi Wibowo to confirm about this issue and his role in managing President Jokowi's social media, however, Andi remained tight-lipped. "Don't ask me," he said in a phone interview. He was also reluctant to answer other questions.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1382720/presidential-office-denies-ties-to-buzzers