Behind the Mask
Submerged in Reality — Indonesia
Throughout winter break, new cases of COVID-19 escalated in Indonesia, especially in the capital city, Jakarta. Due to the new spikes in cases, the government decided to impose tighter quarantine measures and repeatedly called for an “emergency break” or “rem darurat” in the city. The borders have been closed since New Years and we still advised to stay indoors and away from other people.
We have been studying from our homes since March 2020. However, we were given the opportunity to be scholarship recipients for the International Baccalaureate program. Since we had to move from our respective schools, we didn’t really know anybody. And it was quite hard to get to know people when we couldn't really see what was behind the screens. Because of that, besides having to adjust to the new norm of social distancing and staying at home, we were and still are stuck in a social bubble that we cannot seem to pop.
Right at this very moment, the world is not only facing the COVID-19 pandemic, but we are also being hit with waves of misinformation and hoaxes, which the MIT Technology Review calls the first true social media “infodemic.” Indeed, the rise in this social phenomenon has made it very difficult for many of us to point out fake news when we can’t see what is really going on in the real world. People keep turning to social media, even if it is a very tortuous process to see the world unfold through one’s phone.
A lot of conspiracy theories, assumptions, and panic-based opinions spread rapidly like wildfire. Although we saw that a lot of social youth organizations emerged to advocate for change and solve the problem, there are little to none that discussed the world’s situation from a scientific view. Because of that, we realized that we need a scientific source of information on social media platforms.
As we started to know more about one another and engaged in group projects and competitions, we decided to start a youth organization: Behind The Kill. Behind The Kill is a youth-run organization with the aim to offer digestible facts and a platform for people to discuss real-life events and their scientific background. Instead of presenting science as a tumultuous subject, we try to explain cases from around the world in a simpler way. We hope, through our organization, that people can open their eyes and widen their perspectives about the events happening in the world around us.
— Peter and Kyara, 16 & 16