Indonesian President to Set Up Personal Twitter Account

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The Jakarta Globe reports today that the Indonesian president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY), will launch his own personal Twitter account soon. It is still undisclosed what Twitter account name the president will use, or when it is going to be launched. Presidential spokesperson, Julian Aldrin Pasha, explained to the paper how the Twitter account will be managed:

The tweets will be directly from him. There will be a team who helps manage the account but every time the tweet comes from the president, there will be a special code to let people know it is from him.

This special code might simply be the president’s initial, which is also used by Twitter’s most powerful user, US president Barack Obama, to let his followers know which tweets come directly from him. It is going to be interesting to see how the upcoming presidential Twitter account deals with the surge of tweets created by the 29 million strong Indonesian Twitterers every day – and specifically how SBY will handle online criticism and protests.

The spokesperson added that SBY fully understands about the criticism he will face in real-time on Twitter. The president is apparently willing to respond on Twitter if there is misleading information going round on the net. One current controversy surround the president is about his questionable tax returns. That will definitely have a place on the president’s upcoming tweeting agenda.

SBY will find a number of government officials recommended to him upon signing up for Twitter. There’s incumbent Jakarta vice governor Basuki Purnama and ICT minister Tifatul Sembiring – the former now has 181,000 followers and the latter has 540,000.

Another Twitter account for the presidential palace @istanarakyat (meaning “the people’s palace”) was launched two days ago. It tweets about the president’s informal activities as well as news about the palace itself. It has already attracted more than 4,000 followers.

With this, SBY will add the tally of world leaders who have a Twitter account.

(Source: The Jakarta Globe)

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