by : Ira MIrawati
Good morning. This is xxx party’s information services. We’ll really appreciate if you could receive our information about our party and 2009 general election. This message will be sent to you twice a week and free of charge. Reply to us by Type: “1” for yes,” 2” for No.
The sentences above are an example of political campaign texting that should be sent to public if political parties want to campaign using short messaging services (SMS). They should ask if public want to receive their messages or not. Or if they don’t do this, they must have a database about their constituent. Only people who ready to receive SMS that will be texted.
Why should political parties – and telephone operators – do this?
It is because mobile phone is the most personal media that people have. Mobile phone is people’s privacy. Not all people can reached this side of person. The permission is needed when somebody want to meddle in this area.
All this time, we have known three methods of campaign that used by political parties or the person who have a will to be the number one person in Indonesian. All of them are on public area. There are off-air methods such as musical event, poster, banner, leaflet, and so on, mass media methods including print & electronic mass media, and on-line method that using internet. Now, mobile communication technologies that grow very fast in this country make it possible for alternative ways of campaign, not only off air campaign, mass media campaign, and on-line campaign, but also “mobile” campaign. Or, Nur Hidayat Sardini, chairman of the General Elections Supervisory Board (Bawaslu) classify it into “other activities” category campaign (The Jakarta Post, 07/27/2008).
“Mobile” campaign using SMS in mobile phone is possible to do, that is an agreement between Post and telecommunication general directorate (Ditjen Postel), Indonesian telecommunication regulation Board (BRTI), and telephone operator. Their agreement refers to article 89 UU Number 10 Year 2008: news release, broadcasting, and campaign advertising can be done by printed mass media and broadcasting institution in accordance with regulation.
Many people think that the disadvantages of campaign texting are more than its advantages. Both for the parties or the receivers, except the telephone operators of course. It will happen if the regulations for this activity are not clear and specific. The special personal characteristics of texting need a special regulation too. The regulation must consider many aspects that will make the campaign beneficial, for all.
(so sorry, if there is any language mistake in this article, still learning using English hehehe)