Jakarta. The Election Supervisory Board, or Bawaslu, the General Election Commission, or KPU, and the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology on Wednesday (31/01) signed a memorandum of action to curtail the spread of fake news and hate speech in preparation for the upcoming regional polls.
"We hope this agreement can become an instrument that will protect the voters from fake news and negative content in exercising their right to information on the election," Bawaslu chairman Adhan said during the document signing in Jakarta.
According to a survey published by Bawaslu in November, 12 out of 17 provinces that will be electing their governors, district chiefs and mayors in June are at high risk of exposure to social media contents charged with identity politics.
The spread of fake news on social media is a challenge for all countries, yet Indonesians, who are among the most active social media users in the world, may be more at risk.
The agreement aims to coordinate efforts in supervising and managing internet content. It will include exchange of information between the three institutions, educational campaigns and stepping up public participation.
Operators of various social media platforms, including Google, Telegram, Blackberry Messenger and Line, made a joint declaration against hoax, announcing their commitment to support the government in eradicating content that violates the law. They said they will also cooperate in raising awareness on fake news.
Communications Minister Rudiantara told reporters that Bawaslu will supervise internet content with the help of the ministry, and can request the platforms that a domain or account be taken down.
In its commitment to fight hoaxes, Blackberry Messenger (BBM) Indonesia said it will form a special support team.
KPU chairman Arief Budiman said the use of the internet cannot be separated from the election process, as it is part of democracy itself.
“Hopefully now we have enough momentum to fight hoax used by those who wish ill for our democracy and elections. I hope we can achieve it through this cooperation," Arief said.