Mind your online manners: Indonesia last in Southeast Asia in digital civility study

Photo Illustration via Pixabay/Thomas Ulrich.
Photo Illustration via Pixabay/Thomas Ulrich.

Indonesian netizens might have to learn a thing or two about basic online manners, after the country came last in Southeast Asia in Microsoft’s latest Digital Civility Index (DCI).

Since 2016, the survey has been conducted in dozens of countries around the world “to promote safer, healthier, and more respectful online interactions among all people.” 

For this year’s edition, Microsoft surveyed over 16,000 teens and adults in more than 30 countries. The respondents were asked about 21 different online risks they encounter, which are divided into four categories: behavioral, sexual, reputation, and personal/intrusive.

The scoring system ranges from the scale of zero to 100, where lower scores equals better online civility. 

Compared to last year’s survey, Indonesia dropped eight points to 76 in the DCI, the deterioration of which is said to have been driven by adults.

Microsoft identified three biggest online risks that Indonesians face, namely hoaxes, scams, and frauds at 47 percent, hate speech at 27 percent, and discrimination at 13 percent. These mainly came from strangers, as expressed by 48 percent of respondents, with 24 percent saying that they experienced a risk in the past week at the time of the survey.

Four out of 10 people, equivalent to 42 percent of total respondents, said that online civility is better during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is attributed to seeing more people helping others and having a greater sense of community. However, 17 percent of them said that online civility had gotten worse during the pandemic, citing greater spread of false and misleading information, as well as seeing more people acting selfishly as reasons why.  

The survey also showed that 47 percent of respondents had been involved in online bullying ⁠— while 19 percent of them said they were targeted by bullies. Millennials are the generation that’s hit the hardest by bullying at 54 percent, followed by Gen Z at 47 percent, with Gen X and boomers at 39 percent and 18 percent, respectively.

Neighboring country Singapore scored best in Southeast Asia and was placed fourth globally in the index with 59 points, followed by Malaysia with 63 points, Thailand with 69 points, and Vietnam with 72 points ⁠— with the latter placing fourth among countries with the biggest improvement in DCI.

The top five countries in the world with the best scores are the Netherlands, UK, US, Singapore, and Taiwan.

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