Just weeks before Malaysia goes to the polls, automated accounts known as bots are flooding Twitter with tens of thousands of pro-government and anti-opposition messages. (Reuters Photo/Kacper Pempel)

Cyber Police to Monitor Social Media Hate Crime Ahead of Elections


OCTOBER 30, 2016

Jakarta. The National Police cyber crime unit will monitor and tackle hate speech on social media ahead of February's simultaneous regional elections, a spokesman said.

National Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar said the cyber crime unit has been prepared to address religion, ethnic and racial discrimination on social media, including a new set of procedures to handle violators.

“To improve security ahead of local elections, we plan to conduct cyber crime patrols since hate speech could end with clash or violent acts if those are not handled properly,” Boy said in Jakarta on Saturday (29/10).

The newly-revised Electronic Information and Transactions Law also provides a legal base to charge people who are accused of defamation and online intimidation.

Boy cited a series of riots in North Sumatra's Tanjung Balai which saw attacks on several monasteries and Buddhist temples in August. The riot was allegedly triggered via a racially-tinged broadcast message spreading among local residents.

National Police criminal investigative unit Comr. Gen. Ari Dono Sukmanto said his cyber crime unit has been patrolling 24 hours a day in an effort to prevent violations or take legal measures against those already committed.

Local elections will be held simultaneously in 101 regions across the country on Feb. 15 next year.