1st Edition

Fake News and Elections in Southeast Asia Impact on Democracy and Human Rights

Edited By James Gomez, Robin Ramcharan Copyright 2023
    268 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    268 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book offers a regional analysis of the impact of fake news – misinformation, malinformation and disinformation – on electoral democracy and freedom of expression in Southeast Asia, which has taken place in the middle of a global health pandemic.

    The book maps the impact of social media and the internet on democracy in the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations that have already been in the throes of democratic regression for some time. Including an analysis of countries that do not have national elections, the chapters provide detailed information on the extent of internet and social media penetration in each country, the laws that are deployed to reel in its political potential for critics and demonstrate the impact on democracy or the prospects for democracy. Collectively, contributors note that disinformation is a serious problem in the region that negatively impacts elections and how governments’ attempts to deal with the phenomenon inevitably lead to the targeting of dissenting voices and opposition as anti-state fake news. The deleterious impact on democracy and freedom of expression, facilitated by a citizenry that is prone to manipulation of facts, appears to be the standard modus operandi in the regional authoritarian complex.

    This book is the first to undertake a regional analysis of disinformation in Southeast Asia and is a significant contribution to the literature on democracy, elections and disinformation. It will be of interest to researchers in the fields of Political Science and Asian Politics, in particular Southeast Asian Politics.

    1 Introduction – Fake News and Elections in Southeast Asia James Gomez and Robin Ramcharan  2 Shaping the Fake News Discourse: Laws, Electoral Arenas and the Emergence of Truth as a Public Interest Lasse Schuldt  3 Fake News in Cambodia: A Pretext for Preventive Political Repression Marc Piñol Rovira  4 Fake News and Violence against Women in Indonesia’s Elections Nukila Evanty and Fenny Tria Yunita  5 Najib Tun Razak, 1MDB, Social Media and the Fall of Barisan Nasional in the 14th General Election Azeem Ahmad Farouk and Azrina Husin  6 Fake in the Mainstream: The Media, the Military and Myanmar’s Elections Kenneth Houston  7 Fake News and Elections in Myanmar Hunter S. Marston  8 Fake News and State Violence: How Duterte Hijacked the Election and Democracy in the Philippines Wataru Kusaka  9 Singapore’s Anti-Fake News Law: Grabbing the Election by Using Falsehoods to Discredit the Opposition Roy Y.L. Ngerng  10 Thailand’s 2019 General Election: Anti-Fake News Practices and the Securitisation of Media Spaces Attasit Pankaew and Wasin Punthong  11 Political Criticism as Fake News: How Brunei, Laos and Vietnam Suppress Democracy James Gomez and Yawee Butrkrawee  12 Conclusion – The Future of Democratic Elections in Southeast Asia James Gomez and Robin Ramcharan


    James Gomez is Regional Director at Asia Centre, Thailand. He provides strategic oversight for the development and regionalisation of the Centre.

    Robin Ramcharan is Executive Director at Asia Centre and Lecturer at Mahidol University International College. He oversees the research and publication projects of the Centre. He lectures on international affairs at Mahidol University International College.