Govt Takes 3 Steps to Reduce Hoaxes Circulation
“Just one hoax is enough to trigger mass action that leads to casualties, as happened to Mohammad Azam in India, in 2018, for instance. In fact, there are many similar hoaxes spreading every single day in Indonesia, especially around 22 May,” Minister of Communication and Informatics Rudiantara said in Jakarta, Monday (27/5).
There are three steps taken by the Government based on the level of risk of the hoaxes circulation. The measure is common and is often taken by the Government in other countries to prevent widespread unrest.
The first step is to ban access to contents or accounts indicating that they spread hoaxes. The second step is to cooperate with digital platform providers to ban those accounts. The last step is to limit access to some digital platform features or file sharing.
“Restriction of access is one of the last alternatives taken in line with the risk level. “The Governments of other countries have proven its effectivity in preventing widespread unrest,” Rudiantara stated.
The Minister also stated that Sri Lanka banned public access to Facebook and WhatsApp to reduce the impact of church bomb attacks and anti-Muslim attacks that followed. Meanwhile, Iran once banned Facebook access in 2009 after the announcement of President Ahmadinejad’s victory. “Many other countries are limiting and banning (the social media and instant messengers) on various considerations,” he said.
The Ministry has banned thousands of social media accounts and website before and during the restrictions. There are a total of 551 Facebook accounts, 640 Instagram accounts, 143 Youtube accounts, 1 website, and 1 LinkedIn account banned.
“(Cooperation with digital platform providers) was also made. For example, we have discussed the issue of hoaxes with Whatsapp. Only a week before the riot of 22 May, Whatsapp has banned around 61,000 accounts violating the terms and conditions,” Rudiantara said.
All steps, according to Rudiantara, need to be taken to minimalize the spreading of hoaxes, slanders, and provocation. He invites all parties to refrain from spreading them. (Ministry of Communication and Informatics PR/ES)
Translated by : Fairuzzamani Inayatillah
Edited by : Rany A. Subachrum, Mia M. Bonaedy