Glimpsing Indonesia’s Social Media Discourse: What Goes on During the Covid-19 Infodemic

  • Rafi Ronny Universitas Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia,
  • Herdis Herdiansyah Universitas Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia,
  • Berton Suar Pelita Panjaitan Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana Republik Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia
Keywords: Covid-19, Infodemics, Misinformation, Critical Discourse Analysis, Social Media


The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an "infodemic", of false and true information circulating on social media platforms. This phenomenon has posed various challenges in implementing disaster management programs to mitigate the effects of the pandemic, both globally and specifically in Indonesia. This study seeks to investigate the public's perception of social media discourse during the COVID-19 infodemic in Indonesia. Both primary and secondary data were collected to gain a comprehensive understanding of the issue. The primary data was collected through a focused group discussion (FGD) method. Meanwhile, secondary data sources were gathered using a literature review of scholarly articles. Approximately 60 articles were selected from sources such as Google Scholar and PubMed, published between 2019 and 2022. The articles were selected based on their relevance of the topic discussion. The study used Critical Discourse Analysis by Fairclough and Wodak (1997) to analyze the data. Both of the data were then synthesized to glimpse how the infodemic has impacted various disaster management efforts across various parts of the country. The results revealed that the infodemic has worsened public perceptions of how the Indonesian government handles COVID-19 as well as disrupting various disaster management processes. The study finds that the infodemic's impact on the public's perception has resulted in misinformation hampering effective pandemic management efforts. By recognizing the severity of the infodemic and working to combat it, Indonesia can more effectively manage the COVID-19 pandemic and minimize its negative impact on the public.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Rafi Ronny, Universitas Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia,
Rafi Ronny Wazier is a Master Degree student at the School of Environmental Science, University of Indonesia in the Disaster Management Study Program. Rafi graduated in 2021 from English Studies Program, Universitas Indonesia. The author has also held other positions such as being the head of secretariat at Disaster Risk Reduction Center of Universitas Indonesia. His research interests include critical discourse analysis as well as environmental disaster related subjects, especially disasters that are triggered by technological faults. Currently the author works at as an IT Workflow Supervisor at an international Japanese Company that is based in the Marunouchi area, Tokyo, Japan.
Herdis Herdiansyah, Universitas Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia,

Dr. Herdis Herdiansyah serves as a lecturer at the School of Environmental Science, Universitas Indonesia. His research expertise lies in the fields of Environment and Social Science, System Thinking, social conflict and environment, Community Engagement, and Environment and Human Interaction. His research endeavors are focused on Restoration and Conservation Based on Community Empowerment and Religious Understanding. Additionally, Dr. Herdiansyah holds the esteemed position of heading the Research Cluster of Interaction, Community Engagement, and Social Environment within the School of Environmental Science at Universitas Indonesia.

Berton Suar Pelita Panjaitan, Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana Republik Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia

Berton Suar Pelita Panjaitan, Ph.D., serves as a distinguished officer in the Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana Republik Indonesia (Indonesian National Agency of Disaster Management). He holds a Ph.D. in Hazard and Disaster Management, which he earned from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. Dr. Panjaitan is actively involved in the academic community, imparting his knowledge on Disaster Management at various universities across Indonesia.

Currently, he holds the esteemed position of Director for Disaster Mitigation at the Indonesian National Agency of Disaster Management, where he continues to contribute significantly to the field of disaster management and mitigation.


Admoko, S., Suprapto, N., Suliyanah, Deta, U. A., Achmadi, H. R., Hariyono, E., & Madlazim. (2021). Using Toulmin’s argument pattern approach to identify infodemics in the covid-19 pandemic era. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 1805(1).

Agley, J., & Xiao, Y. (2021). Misinformation About COVID-19: Evidence for differential latent profiles and a strong association with trust in science. BMC Public Health, 21(1), 1-12.

Ali, S., Khalid, A., & Zahid, E. (2021). Is covid-19 immune to misinformation? a brief overview. Asian Bioethics Review, 13(2), 255–277.

Ang, L., Song, E., Lee, H. W., & Lee, M. S. (2020). Herbal medicine for the treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (covid-19): A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. In Journal of Clinical Medicine, MDPI. 9(5), 1-12.

Armayanti, R. (2019). Critical discourse analysis (CDA) on qualitative research: a review. REiLA: Journal of Research and Innovation in Language, 1(1), 29–34.

Arwendria, A., & Oktavia, A. (2019). Upaya pemerintah indonesia mengendalikan berita palsu. Baca: Jurnal Dokumentasi dan Informasi, 40(2), 1-12.

Bodla, B. S., & Pal, K. (2018). Communication and its significance structure. Wiley

Bromme, R., Mede, N. G., Thomm, E., Kremer, B., & Ziegler, R. (2022). An anchor in troubled times: Trust in science before and within the COVID-19 pandemic. PLoS One, 17(2), e0262823.

Buchanan, M. (2020). Managing the infodemic. Nature Physics, 16(9), 894-894.

Cardenas, N. C. (2022). Europe and United States vaccine hesitancy’: Leveraging strategic policy for ‘Infodemic’on COVID-19 vaccines. Journal of Public Health, 44(2), e315-e316.

Carley, K. M., Malik, M., Kowalchuk, M., Pfeffer, J., & Landwehr, P. (2015). Twitter usage in Indonesia. SSRN 2720332

Carley, K. M., Malik, M., Landwehr, P. M., Pfeffer, J., & Kowalchuk, M. (2019). Crowd sourcing disaster management: The complex nature of Twitter usage in Padang Indonesia. Safety science, 90, 48-61.

Carter, N., Bryant-Lukosius, D., Dicenso, A., Blythe, J., & Neville, A. J. (2014). The use of triangulation in qualitative research. Oncology Nursing Forum. 41(5), 545–547.

Cinelli, M., Quattrociocchi, W., Galeazzi, A., Valensise, C. M., Brugnoli, E., Schmidt, A. L., Zola, P., Zollo, F., & Scala, A. (2020). The COVID-19 social media infodemic. Scientific reports, 10(1), 1-10.

Cook, J., Lewandowsky, S., & Ecker, U. K. (2017). Neutralizing misinformation through inoculation: Exposing misleading argumentation techniques reduces their influence. PloS one, 12(5), e0175799.

Dang, H. L. (2021). Social media, fake news, and the COVID-19 pandemic: Sketching the case of Southeast Asia. Advances in Southeast Asian Studies, 14(1), 37-58.

Datta, R., Yadav, A. K., Singh, A., Datta, K., & Bansal, A. (2020). The infodemics of COVID-19 amongst healthcare professionals in India. Medical Journal Armed Forces India, 76(3), 276-283.

De Veirman, M., Cauberghe, V., & Hudders, L. (2017). Marketing through Instagram influencers: the impact of number of followers and product divergence on brand attitude. International journal of advertising, 36(5), 798-828.

Do Nascimento, I. J. B., Pizarro, A. B., Almeida, J. M., Azzopardi-Muscat, N., Gonçalves, M. A., Björklund, M., & Novillo-Ortiz, D. (2022). Infodemics and health misinformation: A systematic review of reviews. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 100(9), 544.

Eysenbach, G. (2002). Infodemiology: The epidemiology of (mis) information. The American journal of medicine, 113(9), 763-765.

Fairclough, N. (2023). Critical discourse analysis. In The Routledge Handbook of Discourse Analysis (pp. 11-22). Routledge.

Fakhruroji, M., Tresnawaty, B., Haris Sumadiria, A. S., & Risdayah, E. (2020). Strategi komunikasi publik penanganan COVID-19 di Indonesia: Perspektif sosiologi komunikasi massa dan agama. LP2M UIN Sunan Gunung Djati.

Gustomy, R. (2020). Pandemi ke Infodemi: Polarisasi Politik dalam Wacana Covid-19 Pengguna Twitter. JIIP: Jurnal Ilmiah Ilmu Pemerintahan, 5(2), 190-205.

Hafidzi, A., Sahir, S. H., Eliya, I., Siregar, F. A., & Sudarmanto, B. A. (2021). The perception and impact of COVID-19 news on the society. Profetik: Jurnal Komunikasi, 14(1), 36-50.

Hasma, H., Musfirah, M., & Rusmalawati, R. (2021). Penerapan kebijakan protokol kesehatan dalam pencegahan Covid-19. Jurnal Ilmiah Kesehatan Sandi Husada, 10(2), 356-363.

Hauer, M. K., & Sood, S. (2020). Using social media to communicate sustainable preventive measures and curtail misinformation. Frontiers in psychology, 11, 568324.

Helfers, A., & Ebersbach, M. (2022). he differential effects of a governmental debunking campaign concerning COVID-19 vaccination misinformation. Journal of Communication in Healthcare, 16(1), 113-121.

Hossmann, T., Legendre, F., Carta, P., Gunningberg, P., & Rohner, C. (2011, September). Twitter in disaster mode: Opportunistic communication and distribution of sensor data in emergencies. In Proceedings of the 3rd Extreme Conference on Communication: The Amazon Expedition (pp. 1-6).

Humprecht, E., Esser, F., & van Aelst, P. (2020). Resilience to online disinformation: A framework for cross-national comparative research. The International Journal of Press/Politics, 25(3), 493-516.

Jones-Jang, S. M., Hart, P. S., Feldman, L., & Moon, W. K. (2020). Diversifying or reinforcing science communication? Examining the flow of frame contagion across media platforms. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 97(1), 98-117.

Kaplan, A. M. (2015). Social media, the digital revolution, and the business of media. International Journal on Media Management, 17(4), 197-199.

Khubchandani, J., Sharma, S., Price, J. H., Wiblishauser, M. J., Sharma, M., & Webb, F. J. (2021). COVID-19 vaccination hesitancy in the United States: a rapid national assessment. Journal of community health, 46(2), 270–277.

Kim, H. K., Ahn, J., Atkinson, L., & Kahlor, L. A. (2020). Effects of COVID-19 misinformation on information seeking, avoidance, and processing: A multicountry comparative study. Science Communication, 42(5), 586-615..

Krishna, A., & Thompson, T. L. (2021). Misinformation about health: a review of health communication and misinformation scholarship. American behavioral scientist, 65(2), 316-332.

Ladiqi, S. (2020). State capacity and public trust in handling the covid-19 outbreak in Malaysia. Global Strategis, 14(2), 257–274.

Ledford, C. J. W., Cafferty, L. A., Moore, J. X., Roberts, C., Whisenant, E. B., Garcia Rychtarikova, A., & Seehusen, D. A. (2022). The dynamics of trust and communication in COVID-19 vaccine decision making: A qualitative inquiry. Journal of Health Communication, 27(1), 17-26.

Lee, J. J., Kang, K. A., Wang, M. P., Zhao, S. Z., Wong, J. Y. H., O’Connor, S., Yang, S. C., & Shin, S. (2020). Associations between COVID-19 misinformation exposure and belief with COVID-19 knowledge and preventive behaviors: cross-sectional online study. Journal of medical Internet research, 22(11), e22205.

Li, E. (2019). A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Power Relationships in Institutional Talks. In 6th International Conference on Education, Language, Art and Inter-cultural Communication (ICELAIC 2019) (pp. 550-555). Atlantis Press.

Liao, T. F. (2022). Understanding anti-COVID-19 vaccination protest slogans in the US. Frontiers in Communication, 7

Lovari, A. (2020). Spreading (dis) trust: Covid-19 misinformation and government intervention in Italy. Media and Communication, 8(2), 458-461.

Lupton, D., & Lewis, S. (2021). Learning about COVID-19: a qualitative interview study of Australians’ use of information sources. BMC Public Health, 21(1), 1-10.

McGregor, S. L. (2003, November). Critical discourse analysis: A primer. Kappa Omicron Nu FORUM, 15(1), 1-15.

Meng, X. (2013, May). Scalable simple random sampling and stratified sampling. In International conference on machine learning (pp. 531-539). PMLR. 531–539.

Mihelj, S., Kondor, K., & Štětka, V. (2022). Establishing trust in experts during a crisis: Expert trustworthiness and media use during the Covid-19 pandemic. Science Communication, 44(3), 292–319.

Miles, M. B., Huberman, A. M., & Saldana, J. (2014). Qualitative data analysis: A methods sourcebook (3rd edition). SAGE Publications, Inc.

Moon, M. D. (2019). Triangulation: A method to increase validity, reliability, and legitimation in clinical research. Journal of emergency nursing, 45(1), 103-105.

Mosurska, A., Clark-Ginsberg, A., Sallu, S., & Ford, J. D. (2022). Disasters and indigenous peoples: A critical discourse analysis of the expert news media. Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space, 6(1), 178-201.

Moya-Salazar, J., Contreras-Pulache, H., Cañari, B., & Gomez-Saenz, L. (2021). Other Ways of Communicating the Pandemic - Memes and Stickers Against COVID-19: Other ways of communicating the pandemic-memes and stickers against COVID-19: a systematic review. F1000research, 10.

Mufti, M., Asep Sahid Gatara, H. A., Afrilia, A., & Mutiarawati, R. (2020). Analisis pengukuran tingkat kepercayaan publik terhadap pemerintah: Kekuatan bagi penanganan Covid-19 berbasis masyarakat. LP2M.

Nandagiri, V., & Philip, L. (2018). Impact of influencers from Instagram and YouTube on their followers. International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research and Modern Education, 4(1), 61-65.

Ngai, C. S. B., Singh, R. G., & Yao, L. (2022). Impact of COVID-19 vaccine misinformation on social media virality: content analysis of message themes and writing strategies. Journal of medical Internet research, 24(7), e37806.

Palen, L., Vieweg, S., & Anderson, K. M. (2011). Supporting “everyday analysts” in safety-and time-critical situations. The Information Society, 27(1), 52-62.

Paltridge, B. (2012). Discourse Analysis: An Introduction (2nd edition). Bloomsbury Academic.

Pierri, F., Perry, B. L., DeVerna, M. R., Yang, K. C., Flammini, A., Menczer, F., & Bryden, J. (2022). Online misinformation is linked to early COVID-19 vaccination hesitancy and refusal. Scientific reports, 12(1), 5966.

Pranata, S., Laksono, A. D., Machfutra, E. D., & Wulandari, R. D. (2022). Information clarity about Covid-19 in Indonesia: does media exposure matter?. BMC Public Health, 22(1), 1-8.

Ripp, T., & Röer, J. P. (2022). Systematic review on the association of COVID-19-related conspiracy belief with infection-preventive behavior and vaccination willingness. BMC psychology, 10(1), 1-14.

Rizkinaswara, L. (2022, April 22). 5.829 Hoaks Seputar covid-19 beredar di media sosial, Simak Rinciannya. Ditjen Aptika., 14 Februari 2023

Rochmanti, M., Pranawa, A. H., Ramadhani, M., Hayati, M. N. R., Rahmanda, A. F., Hulwah, D. O. Z., Syahida, D. F., Sunandar, D. Y., Tsuroya, J. I., Hidayat, N., & Putri, R. D. K. (2021). Feed Instagram sebagai media edukasi dan lomba teka-teki silang tentang covid-19 dan kesehatan mental. Jurnal Pekommas, (Special Issue).105–111.

Rogers, R., Schaenen, I., Schott, C., O’Brien, K., Trigos-Carrillo, L., Starkey, K., & Chasteen, C. C. (2016). Critical discourse analysis in education: a review of the literature, 2004 to 2012. Review of Educational Research, 86(4), 1192–1226.

Salma, N. F. (2019). Exploring critical discourse analysis’s renowned studies: Seeking for aims and approaches. REiLA: Journal of Research and Innovation in Language, 1(1), 17-22.

Saxton, G. D., Niyirora, J. N., Guo, C., & Waters, R. D. (2015). #Advocatingforchange: the strategic use of hashtags in social media advocacy. Advances in Social Work, 16(1), 154–169.

Schillinger, D., Chittamuru, D., Ramírez, A. S., Chittamuru, F. D., & Ramı´rez, A. S. (2020). From “infodemics” to health promotion: a novel framework for the role of social media in public health. American journal of public health, 110(9), 1393-1396.

Seale, H., Harris-Roxas, B., Heywood, A., Abdi, I., (2022). The role of community leaders and other information intermediaries during the COVID-19 pandemic: insights from the multicultural sector in Australia. Humanit Soc Sci Commun 9, 174

Strange, L. (2022). Covid-19 and public responsibility: A multimodal critical discourse analysis of blaming the public during the UK’s third wave. Linguistic Landscape, 8(2-3), 168-183.

Prevalence of health misinformation on social media: systematic review. Journal of medical Internet research, 23(1), e17187.

Tsao, S. F., Chen, H., Tisseverasinghe, T., Yang, Y., Li, L., & Butt, Z. A. (2021). What social media told us in the time of COVID-19: a scoping review. The Lancet Digital Health, 3(3), e175-e194.

Utz, S., Schultz, F., & Glocka, S. (2013). Crisis communication online: How medium, crisis type and emotions affected public reactions in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. Public relations review, 39(1), 40-46.

Vaidya, T., Votipka, D., Mazurek, M. L., & Sherr, M. (2019, May 2). Does being verified make you more credible? Account verification's effect on tweet credibility. In Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 1-13).

Visseren-Hamakers, I. J. (2015). Integrative environmental governance: enhancing governance in the era of synergies. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 14, 136-143.

Vraga, E. K., & Bode, L. (2017). Using expert sources to correct health misinformation in social media. Science communication, 39(5), 621-645.

Wirawan, G. B. S., Mahardani, P. N. T. Y., Cahyani, M. R. K., Laksmi, N. L. P. S. P., & Januraga, P. P. (2021). Conspiracy beliefs and trust as determinants of COVID-19 vaccine acceptance in Bali, Indonesia: Cross-sectional study. Personality and Individual Differences, 180, 110995.

Wodak, R., & Fairclough, N. (1997). Critical Discourse Analysis. In T. A. van Dijk (Ed.), Discourse as Social Interaction (pp. 258–284). SAGE.

How to Cite
Ronny, R., Herdiansyah, H., & Panjaitan, B. S. P. (2023). Glimpsing Indonesia’s Social Media Discourse: What Goes on During the Covid-19 Infodemic. REiLA : Journal of Research and Innovation in Language, 5(3), 234-251.
Abstract viewed = 84 times
PDF downloaded = 175 times