While the Web has definitely helped President Obama big time with his election campaign people in Indonesia have used Facebook to have his presence removed from Jakarta. The statue has been placed in Jakarta’s school being removed from its original position from a public park. It was placed in honor of the president who had studied in the same school.
I am not sure why they placed it when they had to remove it eventually or more importantly relocate it. The only reason I see fitting here is that his popularity has faded amongst the people who had welcomed him as someone associated to the nation since he had studied in their homeland. While only 500 students watched its inauguration over 50,000 joined the group to support the cause of having it removed from the park.
The statue is a 43 inch model of a school going Obama with a butterfly perched on his hand. The president had lived in Indonesia between 1967 and 1971 and the statue had cost $10,000 and the funds were provided by a charity, a local television channel and a group of individuals.
The issue first got air when the same campaign started back in December last year and it had attracted quite a lot of fans. It is obvious that the purpose of statue has fallen prey to politics and the growing unpopularity of the President. I wouldn’t disagree with the people’s demands when they stated that they needed an Indonesian hero instead of a foreign president irrespective of what connections he has. Other than that the way they had it removed was very appropriately done and they resorted to using the social network for the purpose which just shows that the social network can be utilized for multiple purposes and that can include even influencing key decisions of the administration.
I would be really love if such modes of demonstrations find way in other cities and people resort to using social networks to influence governance. Many might disagree with me on siding with the statues removal, but I just learned something useful and how we can leverage the new modes of communication.