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            [post_content] => Jakarta. More than 100 media representatives gathered on Tuesday (18/04) to announce the establishment of the Indonesian Cyber Media Association, or AMSI, whose primary mission is to verify tens of thousands of online news outlets, fight hoax, promote accurate journalism and make sure that journalists adhere to the code of professional ethics.

Indonesia's Press Council chairman Yoseph Adi Prasetyo said the council, which harbors press associations and media experts, fully supports AMSI, and hopes the association will play an important role in fighting fake news.

He said that among 47,000 mass media in the country, 43,300 are online media outlets.

"Imagine how important is the role of online media. We know that hoax news have been on the rise over the past six months, but after the authorities, professionals and journalists joined hands to fight them, the quantity has shrank," Yosep said in a keynote speech during a simple ceremony at the Press Council building in Central Jakarta, which also saw in attendance Communications Minister Rudiantara.

Although many stakeholders have stood against fake news, hoaxes have not ceased to exist and AMSI is going to be there to help the Press Council in verifying online media and promoting ethical journalism.

The Press Council has already formulated the online media news coverage guidelines in accordance with the Law No. 40 of 1999 on the Press and the Journalistic Code of Ethics.

During Tuesday's ceremony, Twitter Indonesia public policy head Agung Yudha said that the most effective way to fight hoax is by juxtaposing it with accurate content produced by journalists who work for good online media.

"While in the past our enemy was spam, now apart from spam there are hoaxes. Rather than blocking [those who spread them], we believe that bombarding the internet with positive content can suppress the proliferation of fake news," he said.

Twitter Asia Pacific and Twitter Indonesia had pledged to help the Indonesian government in improving digital literacy, and are introducing tougher measures to deal with abusive content on their social media platform.

AMSI

The newly established association may join the Press Council in future.

"It will definitely be accepted, all it [AMSI]  needs to do is to have a board member and regional branches in 15 regions, and it must have at least 200 online media outlets as members. It is not easy, but I am sure [AMSI] can do it," the council's chairman said.

Currently, the council has seven media associations under its auspices, including the Union of Print Media Companies (SPS), the Indonesian Television Broadcasting Association (ATVSI), the Indonesian Local TV Association and the Indonesian National Private Radio Association (PRSSNI).

AMSI already comprises of 143 online media from various regions, including the Jakarta Globe and others under Berita Satu Media Holdings such as Beritasatu.com, which is one of the association's founding members.

The association's presidium is headed by Wenseslaus Manggut, the editor in chief of Merdeka.com. The remaining 24 board members derive from various Indonesian online media outlets.

Within the next three months, the board will hold a national meeting to appoint the association's executives, prepare its agenda and budget.

The AMSI secretariat is located at BeritaSatu Plaza on Jalan Gatot Subroto 35-36 in South Jakarta.

Registered online media outlets that satisfy the Press Council's regulations are invited to join AMSI.

Registration can be done via email: sekretariat.amsi@gmail.com
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            [post_content] => Jakarta. National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian has urged members of the public to remain calm and not be tricked by news stories that the police have identified as "hoaxes."

Tito said on Thursday (23/03) that stories circulating on social media on issues such as recent child abductions and organ trafficking are fake and are intended to smear the government's image and stimulate political unrest ahead of regional elections across the country.

"These stories, about child abductions and murdered children with missing organs, I ensure you are a hoax. I have coordinated with the Manado [North Sulawesi] and North Sumatra Police, as well as other provincial police units, including the Jakarta Police. They simply aren't true," Tito said in Jakarta.

"As the chief of the National Police, I firmly say that the regional police chiefs have checked and found no [occurrences of such incidents]," Tito added.

He advised parents not to worry about such hoaxes on social media and called on the public to be skeptical of unclear reports or news.

"Do not overreact and panic. Clarify with the police, with local residents [where purported incidents occur], and check whether the information is true or not," Tito said.

In response to public unrest stemming from the sensational stories, police across the country have implemented additional security measures, such as comprehensive border checks and road blocks.

Earlier this month, the National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) created three websites aimed at countering radical propaganda and hoax news stories spread on social media.

Watch Indonesia Highlights at 8 p.m. tonight on the Jakarta Globe News Channel and Facebook Live to find out more about the viral hoaxes on child abductions and organ trafficking.
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            [post_content] => Jakarta. The National Counterterrorism Agency, or BNPT, has joined hands with internet activists to curb the propagation of radical ideologies and hoaxes online.

BNPT officials and representatives of 23 internet communities met at the Alana Hotel in Yogyakarta on Friday (03/03) to exchange ideas and establish three websites aimed at countering radical propaganda.

The BNPT also appointed so-called peace ambassadors for various regions to participate in the anti-radicalism campaign.

The new websites will focus on positive and peaceful campaigns, according to Maj. Gen. Abdul Rahman Kadir, deputy director for terrorism prevention, protection and deradicalization at the BNPT.

"We held discussions with internet activists here to build synergy and to encourage netizens to provide content that is peaceful, enjoyable to read and which do constitute hoaxes," Abdul said.

Curbing Radicalism

The BNPT held a similar seminar in Jakarta last month with the staff of several key government ministries.

BNPT chief Comr. Gen. Suhardi Alius explained that as the internet is now an inseparable part of daily life, social media has become the new melting pot of ideas.

"Irresponsible parties, including radicals and terrorist groups, have taken advantage of this to spread propaganda or negative content. One of the issues we have observed carefully is the phenomenon of hoaxes that become viral on the internet," Suhardi said during last month's seminar.

"Indonesia has become proof of how the virtual world can be dangerous when used by radical groups," he added.

At the same event, Chief Security Minister Wiranto said hoaxes have become real threats. He said steps will be taken to curb misleading information on social media, which has the potential to harm the country.

"The dynamics of the threats change over time. If we are ignorant of these changes, we will be left behind easily," the minister said.

Wiranto also urged the public to actively resist provocation on social media.

The government has formed a joint task force to curb the spread of negative content on the internet.

 

Watch more on Indonesia Highlights 8pm tonight at Jakarta Globe News Channel and Facebook Live.
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            [post_content] => Jakarta. An anti hoax campaign kicked off in several cities across the country on Sunday morning (08/01), in a move to contain the spread of provocative content and false information through social media platforms.

Jakarta welcomed the campaign on its car-free day with hundreds of people participating in an event during which Communications and Information Technology Minister Rudiantara‎ called on members of the public to verify the information they receive through social media and resist from sharing false news.

"The role of the society is very important in this effort," Rudiantara said, as quoted by Antara news agency.

The ministry will also promote its so-called "white list" of more than 100,000 websites, which individuals and educational institutions are encouraged to access, Rudiantara said.

Residents of Solo in Central Java participated in the campaign by stamping their hands on "KickOutHoax" wall to show their support for the initiative.

In Surabaya, East Java, Anti Hoax Society volunteers introduced to the city's residents ways to recognize fake news.

Henri Subiakto of the Communications Ministry said the campaign is meant to urge people to be more critical toward information they receive.

"By allowing fake news to be spread through social media platforms, we allow dishonesty and falsehood to stay among us," he said in a statement.

"If falsehood is continually repeated, it might end up being taken as truth," he added.

The Indonesian Press Council plans to give barcodes to verified media outlets to make it easier to distinguish between the legitimate news website and hoax-prone ones. By scanning the barcodes, readers will be redirected to the council's database.

"We seek to have less people deceived and aggrieved by fake news stories," said  Yosep Stanley Adi Prasetyo, the council's chairman.

Strategic policy chief at the Indonesian Telematics Society Teguh Prasetya encouraged the government to have pop-up warnings display on suspicious websites.

"This step is needed to fit up the government's internet censorship policy against the websites that spread hoax and violate the law," Teguh said.

 
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