Indonesian netizens outraged over tweet from The Economist saying Tokopedia & Bukalapak are ‘from Singapore’

Photo: Twitter/@TheEconomist
Photo: Twitter/@TheEconomist

Handling a social media account, especially one for a publication as respected as The Economist, one must make sure to be factually correct at all times or face the ire and sneer of netizens, as the admin for the London-based magazine’s Twitter account recently found out.

On Monday, The Economist pushed their story titled, “Indonesia binges on e-commerce” on Twitter with not one, but two errors: 1. misspelling Indonesian e-commerce giant Bukalapak as “Bukalpak” and 2. referring to Tokopedia and Bukalapak as Singaporean e-commerce startups. 

Proud Indonesian netizens soon pounced on the mistakes (mostly the geographical gaffe rather than the typo) and, as we’ve come to expect from Indonesian netizens, they clearly had a lot of fun making fun of them:

Some responded by using gifs, just like this one with the classic Loki quote:

Some wondered if The Economist has a fact-checker in their employ:

And there is a fair share of people who thought the erroneous tweet was all part of an elaborate conspiracy.

“They probably deliberately tweeted this to increase their engagement”

Tokopedia hasn’t yet responded to the tweet, but Bukalapak’s founder and CEO Achmad Zaky jumped in as well and he didn’t mince his words:

Surprisingly, as of the time of writing, the tweet still hasn’t been taken down.
(UPDATE: It looks like they deleted the tweet around 4:45pm on Tuesday)

It’s very human to make mistakes, and even social media admins aren’t immune to it. Whatever it is that caused their negligence, it does seem like The Economist got a huge boost (from confused or angry Indonesians) in their Twitter engagement.

(Also, things like this make us wish Twitter would roll out an “edit tweet” feature soon.)

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