Taking comprehensive measures to tackle election hoaxes: ministry

Jakarta (ANTARA) – The government is taking comprehensive measures, from upstream to downstream, to protect Indonesia’s digital space from hoaxes, including those related to the 2024 General Elections, Deputy Minister of Communication and Informatics Nezar Patria said.

“Such measures are meant to ensure the spread of factual information while cutting off the flow of hoaxes,” he explained, according to a press release received from the Communication and Informatics Ministry here on Wednesday.

He made the statement while delivering a speech at an academic conference on “Safeguarding Democracy: Multifaceted Responses to Election Disinformation” in Jakarta.

At the upstream level, he said, the ministry has been making efforts to boost people’s digital literacy through the Digital Literacy National Movement.

Meanwhile, preventive measures have been taken at the midstream level, including validating information, moderating digital content, and collaborating with digital platforms to remove hoaxes, he informed.

Patria then elaborated on efforts at the downstream level, saying that the ministry has been playing an active role in supporting the National Police (Polri) in enforcing the law by providing the institution with relevant data and information.

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The deputy minister also noted that the increase in the use of information technology has made information disorder a global issue. He added that based on a report from Reuters Institute in 2023, 62 percent of internet users encountered information disorder on social media platforms.

“This issue becomes more crucial as an election draws closer, especially in Indonesia, where 87 percent of its people believe that disinformation has impacted political situations,” he emphasized.

He further observed that Indonesia witnessed increases in the intensity of hoax circulation during the previous election. Before and during the 2019 General Elections, that is in 2018–2019, the government detected 714 hoaxes, he said.

“From January 2023 to January 2024, we have received reports on 204 hoaxes related to the election,” he added.

He said that the figure does not reflect the actual number of hoaxes related to this year’s elections, considering that the elections have yet to take place.

“Despite the recent statistics showing a lower number compared to that recorded during the previous election, we might witness an increase in the (actual) number of political hoaxes (this year),” he added.

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Translator: Ahmad F, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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