Information Ministry to Monitor Political Campaign Ads During Silence Period

By Office of Assistant to Deputy Cabinet Secretary for State Documents & Translation
Date 26 Maret 2019
Category: News
Read: 1.124 Views
Director General of Informatics Application of the Communication and Informatics Ministry Semuel Abrijani Pangerapan answers questions from reporters regarding political ads, Jakarta, Monday (25/3). (Photo by: Public Relations of Communication and Informatics Ministry)

Director General of Informatics Application of the Communication and Informatics Ministry Semuel Abrijani Pangerapan answers questions from reporters regarding political ads, Jakarta, Monday (25/3). (Photo by: Public Relations of Communication and Informatics Ministry)

Ministry of Communication and Informatics has announced it will monitor online political campaign ads during the 2019 Simultaneous Elections’s silence period.

“We will filter advertisements, so there should be no political campaign ads carried out by anyone during the silence period because each ad that has been registered and published by the platform will be banned,” said  Director General of Informatics Application of Ministry of Communication and Informatics Semuel Abrijani Pangerapan at a press conference in Jakarta, Monday (25/3).

“This advertising prohibitions should be valid for public, not only political party participating in the elections,” Semuel added.

The simultaneous elections’ campaign silence period takes place from April 14 to 16, 2019. In that regard, persuasive activities regarding the campaign are not allowed.

According to Semuel, the ban will be in place to maintain neutrality during the silence period. “We’ve had a meeting attended by all digital platforms, as well as representatives of the candidate and the Elections Supervisory Board (Bawaslu) and we discussed how to protect cyberspace during the silence period,” he said.

Nevertheless, personal conversation on social media is still allowed as long as it is not posted by presidential candidates, their campaign team, and official account since it is a form of freedom of expression that is protected by the Constitution, he said. According to Semuel, the Ministry is also committed to protecting freedom of expression of the public.

“We protect public’s freedom of expression, but if those people place a paid political campaign (on social media), that is prohibited,” he said.

Semuel also denied rumors saying that the Ministry will close social media during the silence period.

“I can affirm you that the statement is a hoax. We can not possibly close social media just because of the silence period,” he added.

Semuel went on to say that the ban and restriction of political ads would also apply on conventional offline mass media, including the television and newspapers.

Regarding the process, he explained that the Ministry does not play the core role in organizing the 2019 Simultaneous Elections, but it is the task of the General Elections Commission (KPU) instead. After finding social media contents that are considered to have violated the regulation, he added, the Ministry will submit the contents to the KPU to be screened and afterwards the Ministry will follow-up the decision of the KPU by taking down or blocking the contents.

“Thus, we cannot act independently. We will submit the reports from the people and our filtering machine to the KPU and the Bawaslu to be verified and decided whether the contents have violated the regulation or not,” Semuel added. (Humas Kominfo/ES)

 

Translated by: Syarifah Aisyah
Edited by: Rany Anjany/M. Ersan Pamungkas

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