So-called fake news sites, or hoaxes, have become a snowballing problem for Indonesia. (Antara Photo/Wahyu Putro A.)

Anti Hoax Campaign Kicks Off in Indonesia


JANUARY 08, 2017

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.