With 2022 support from Meedan’s Check Global program, Indonesian media outlet Magdalene has completed a major project investigating women and gender issues. The newsroom is hosting an event on February 23, 2023 that will cover their work towards this milestone. 

The project, called Beauty and Technology, highlights the intersection of technology and body image. Magdalene produced four videos and 12 news articles for the initiative, including investigations into the impact of influencers and beauty filters on users’ self-esteem. 

“The media’s constant portrayal of ‘ideal beauty’ and comparisons of body image impact people’s perceptions of their appearance,” said Devi Asmarani, editor of Magdalene. Asmarani’s newsroom sees beauty misinformation online in product endorsements by influencers and other types of product advertisements. 

“There needs to be a stronger regulatory framework to protect customers from marketing tactics on social media that use false information that could be harmful to health,” she said. “Social media platforms can also treat problematic or potentially harmful content with false information on health and beauty with the same strictness it handles hate speech or hoaxes with political nature.”

“Beauty and Technology” is the second of two Magdalene projects supported by Meedan. The first project, Breaking Bias, addresses gender biases that impact women in the workplace, education, medicine, technology, financial sector and public spaces.

With a 2024 election scheduled in Indonesia, Magdalene aims to focus 2023 coverage on policies that impact women in politics, female voters, and political decision making in general. 

To learn more about Magdalene and to stay up to date on their work, check out their website, and tune in to their event “From Influencers to Body Dysmorphia: Covering Beauty and Technology” on February 23 at 7PM WIB, 1PM GMT.

Social media
Journalism and Technology
Press Release
Gender Disinformation


  1. Online conversations are heavily influenced by news coverage, like the 2022 Supreme Court decision on abortion. The relationship is less clear between big breaking news and specific increases in online misinformation.
  2. The tweets analyzed were a random sample qualitatively coded as “misinformation” or “not misinformation” by two qualitative coders trained in public health and internet studies.
  3. This method used Twitter’s historical search API
  4. The peak was a significant outlier compared to days before it using Grubbs' test for outliers for Chemical Abortion (p<0.2 for the decision; p<0.003 for the leak) and Herbal Abortion (p<0.001 for the decision and leak).
  5. All our searches were case insensitive and could match substrings; so, “revers” matches “reverse”, “reversal”, etc.



Words by

Sneha Alexander is Program Manager for APAC at Meedan. She is a public policy graduate with work experiences as a data journalist and fact-checker in India. Sneha is a trainer in media literacy and fact-checking and has coordinated work related to the Ekta consortium in India.

Sneha Alexander
Words by
Published on
February 21, 2023
February 21, 2023