Home » Dirty Vote: The film ‘about presidential election fraud’ has its pros and cons, how should the public react to it?

Dirty Vote: The film ‘about presidential election fraud’ has its pros and cons, how should the public react to it?

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Dirty Vote: The film ‘about presidential election fraud’ has its pros and cons, how should the public react to it?

Image source, Istimewa/Datikcom

5 hours ago

Film Dirty Vote has been widely discussed by the public since it was first broadcast on YouTube on February 11. This 117-minute film features three constitutional law experts who reveal what they call fraud in the 2024 presidential election process.

The Prabowo Subianto-Gibran Rakabuming campaign team, before the film was officially released on YouTube, accused the makers of Dirty Vote of slander.

Pros and cons still accompany this film, which has been watched more than 6.7 million times. Discussions regarding the film’s material have not subsided on social media.

BBC News Indonesia spoke to a number of experts about how society should react to Dirty Vote, amidst a flurry of accusations and claims from various groups. Here’s the summary.

What does the Press Council say?

Chairman of the Press Council Ninik Rahayu said that the film Dirty Vote is not a journalistic product. However, he said, this does not mean that the film contains fiction or fake news. The reason is that the material presented by three experts, namely Bivitri Susanti, Zainal Arifin Mochtar, and Feri Amsari, is court facts, records of events in the presidential election series, and academic analysis.

“Regarding information like that in this documentary, some people can give an important assessment, although there are also those who say this is not important. But this film is an explanatory documentary, so it is not a work of fiction,” said Ninik.


Gibran Rakabuming said he had not watched the film Dirty Vote.

Ninik encouraged the public to look for other sources of information to complete their understanding of the issues presented in the film Dirty Vote. Ninik called the public’s response to continuing to dig up true and accurate information, including after the film Dirty Vote, an important process in Indonesian democracy.

“Many sources can be used as references to complete the data and information presented in this film, for example looking at court decisions, clarifications from groups that argue, and it can also be from books or literature,” said Ninik.

“Most importantly, this film is different from works made for propaganda and provocation. The public does not need to get into that debate,” he said.

Image source, Antara Foto


The film Dirty Vote was released three days before voting day for the 2024 election.

‘Part of political education’

The film Dirty Vote, by utilizing data that has been circulating in the public, shows conflicts of interest that could lead to fraud in the presidential election series, said researcher at the Association for Elections and Democracy, Muhammad Ihsan Maulana.

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Not only is it a reminder to those who want to commit fraud, Ihsan said that the film Dirty Vote could be an important part of people’s political education.

“Of course this film is a warning to anyone who wants to commit fraud, especially at the stages of voting, calculating and recapitulating the results,” said Ihsan.

“Reflecting on the film, the stages of voting, calculating and recapitulating the results are always the most vulnerable stages. This is a crucial stage in elections.

“If there is no improvement in the neutrality of state administrators and election organizers do not improve their technical aspects and election supervision, of course this problem will recur,” he said.


The Prabowo-Gibran Campaign Team accused the film Dirty Vote of being slanderous.

Ihsan believes that this film does not constitute a campaign or an attempt to bring down certain presidential and vice presidential candidates. He disagrees with the notion that Dirty Vote contains hoaxes or misinformation.

“This film summarizes and depicts allegations of election fraud well and is easy for voters to understand. This film is a depiction of public unrest regarding the stages of election implementation which are characterized by conflicts of interest, potential fraud, and against electoral legal regulations which have actually been advocated for by civil society groups. ,” said Ihsan.

“It seems too much if this film is accused of being propaganda. What is conveyed is open public information, the result of journalistic work and court decisions,” he said.

‘Attacks on Dirty Vote are unwarranted’

Professor Masduki, a communications expert from the Islamic University of Indonesia Yogyakarta, believes that the film Dirty Vote provides important election information that has so far been overlooked by the mass media, especially public broadcasting media funded by the state budget such as TVRI.

“In other countries, public broadcasting institutions are a reference for the public because they provide comprehensive information, both educational and investigative,” said Masduki.

“A film like Dirty Vote should not come out of an alternative institution like Watchdoc. If Watchdoc always makes reports like this, it means there is something wrong with publicly funded broadcasting institutions, which apparently are not playing their role towards the public, namely building a critical attitude in the public,” he said .

On the other hand, said Masduki, the appearance of this film shows the attitude of the political elite in responding to the results of academic and journalistic work. According to him, the Prabowo-Gibran team’s accusation that the film Dirty Vote is slander and propaganda shows the bad side of Indonesia’s electoral political culture.

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“A documentary film like this should be opposed with a documentary film or a narrative based on the same factual evidence. In the context of Dirty Vote, the party being criticized is actually blaming (blaming) and making negative framing based on statements,” said Masduki.

“In social movements, it is counter-resistance with verbal violence, not in a way that is equivalent to academic methods or media content production. This is uneducative and unhealthy in political culture,” he said.


Dandhy Laksono, the maker of the film Dirty Vote, said he was motivated to make a documentary after seeing the trial at the Constitutional Court which changed the age requirements for vice presidential candidates.

Who made the movie Dirty Vote?

This film was prepared by the Watchdoc Documentary production house, which was founded by two journalists: Dandhy Dwi Laksono and Andhy Panca Kurniawan.

Over the last 14 years, they have made hundreds of documentary films, including Sexy Killers which examines the coal business and The Endgame which tells the story of the KPK National Insight Test polemic.

In August 2021, Watchdoc’s role in Indonesian social and political life through film was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award, an award often referred to as the ‘Asian version of the Nobel’.

The Ramon Magsaysay Award was given to the Dalai Lama in 1958, Mother Teresa (1962), Gus Dur (1993), Pramoedya Ananta Toer (1995) and the KPK (2013).

Image source, BBC News Indonesia


Dandhy Dwi Laksono, journalist, founder of the Watchdoc Documentary production house, 19 September 2017.

In creating Dirty Vote, Watchdoc collaborated with a number of civil society groups such as Indonesia Corruption Watch, Greenpeace Indonesia, the Anti-Mining Network, and the Alliance of Independent Journalists.

Dandhy Laksono, in his narrative which was broadcast on the Indonesia Baru YouTube channel, mentioned a number of things that encouraged him to make the film Dirty Vote. One of them was the trial at the Constitutional Court which lowered the age requirement for vice presidential candidates.

In various reports, changes in the requirements for vice presidential candidates are often linked to the family relationship between the Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court at that time, Anwar Usman, with President Joko Widodo and his son Gibran Rakabuming.

“All these stories passed by my eyes and I thought that we need to make everything that passes by every day into something that can be seen from a helicopter view (in full). That was the idea,” said Dandhy.

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Presidential candidate Anies Baswedan believes that the film Dirty Vote is a form of public education.

In a press statement shared by the makers of Dirty Vote previously, Dandhy said that this film was intended to be a material for public education towards the crucial moment of the election, namely voting day on February 14.

“There are times when we become supporters of presidential and vice presidential candidates. But today, I want to invite everyone to watch this film as citizens,” said Dandhy

Joni Aswira, Chair of the Indonesian Environmental Journalists Society, an institution that also supported the making of Dirty Vote, said that this film was funded by a “joint venture” with Watchdoc and civil society institutions.

The entire process of making this film, said Joni, took two weeks, from research, production, to shooting.

Image source, AFP


Presidential candidate Ganjar Pranowo said the film Dirty Vote is a reminder that the election process will take place without fraud.

What was Prabowo-Gibran’s response?

Gibran admitted that he had not watched Dirty Vote. He said this to the press in Solo, Monday (12/02).

“Thank you for your input. If there is fraud, please prove it later,” he said.

The day before, the Deputy Chair of the Prabowo-Gibran National Campaign Team, Habiburokhman, called the film Dirty Vote a slander.

“Most of what the film conveys is something that has a slanderous tone, a hate narrative that has an assumptive tone, and is very unscientific,” he told the press.

How did the other presidential candidates respond?

The film Dirty Vote specifically examines allegations of fraud that could potentially win Prabowo-Gibran’s favor.

Presidential candidate Anies Baswedan said the film was a reminder to all parties that fraud in the presidential election could occur.

“Whether this happens, we’ll see later, so we have the opportunity, let’s take care of ourselves so that it doesn’t happen,” said Anies to the press.

Presidential candidate Ganjar Pranowo said something similar. “There were people who told me about the situation, that’s all I saw (the film Dirty Vote),” he said in Semarang.

“If politicians already understand what is happening. This is education for the public so that everyone can maintain the direction of democracy well, scientists have reminded us,” said Ganjar.

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