Armed with cutesy emoji waffles, Facebook invites members of the public to run a simple online privacy checkup at its pop-up cafe in South Jakarta.

Facebook Cafe is located at Filosofi Kopi cafe in Melawai, Blok M – which has been embellished with loads of emoji decorations for the event. The cafe will open from Friday until Sunday.

Running under a similar concept with Facebook Cafes in the United Kingdom, the Jakarta branch gives out free waffles and drinks to anyone who does a privacy checkup.

Upon arrival, visitors must fill out a privacy test questionnaire. An officer then will give each of visitor a coupon for a plate of waffles and a cup of coffee or tea. Your answers in the test determine the type of coupon that you get.

“A pink coupon means you will get a waffle with love emoji, while a yellow coupon is for a waffle with a laughing face emoji,” a cafe attendant explains.

PHOTO: The Jakarta Post

While enjoying the waffles, the visitors can have a chat with a Facebook officer about ways to improve their privacy on Facebook, and also Whatsapp messaging app and social media Instagram – both owned by Facebook.

Indonesia has the fourth-highest number of Facebook users in the world, according to the 2018 annual digital report released by We Are Social and Hootsuite. As of January 2018, they were around 130 million Indonesian accounts, representing 6 per cent of global users.

The social media giant has been pushing efforts in making user privacy a priority following the data-misuse scandal involving British political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica. Last year, it was revealed that the firm harvested the data of 87 million unwitting Facebook users and used it for political advertising. More than 1 million users were Indonesians.

“We understand that our users have lots of questions on how our platform works, and how we protect the information that they share. For the next three days, our friends from Facebook Indonesia are ready to answer their questions here,” said Facebook policy campaign manager Noudhy Valdryno.

Noudhy was open to the possibility of opening another Facebook Cafe in another locations. “If the enthusiasm is high, we’ll consider it,” he said.

On the opening day, the small cafe welcomed a throng of journalists as its first customers. The staff seemed overwhelmed with the piling orders, resulting in some guests having to wait for the waffles.

Will Facebook Cafe succeed in raising online privacy awareness among Jakartans?

It can be a success only if most of the visitors don’t mind waiting too long for the waffles – or not getting any waffles at all. Or perhaps, they come to the cafe just to get advice on how to hide their Facebook and Instagram stories from their annoying friends.



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