Haedar Nashir, chairman of Muhammadiyah, the second largest Islamic organization in Indonesia. (Antara Photo/Rivan Awal Lingga)

Muhammadiyah Proposes Ban on Socmed 'Buzzers'

FEBRUARY 22, 2017

Jakarta. Muhammadiyah, Indonesia's second-biggest Islamic organization, has thrown its support behind a proposal to ban social media "buzzers" — online personalities who post content for pay — since they often become source of hoaxes and fake news.

"Buzzers should be banned. They've been guilty of too many character assassinations and caused too much public unrest," Muhammadiyah deputy chairman of information Edy Kuscahyanto said at a discussion in Menteng, Central Jakarta, on Tuesday (21/02).

"One of these buzzers [intentionally] misspelled Anis Baswedan's name as 'Anis Bus Edan' [Crazy Anis]. Totally unnecessary," Edy said.

There should be a regulation that bans people from employing buzzers, according to Edy. "Cut the problem at the root," he added.

The current Electronic Transaction and Information (ITE) Law — Indonesia's internet law — and its cyber crime laws are powerless against these buzzers, Edy said.

"We may issue a ban on social media buzzers at our conference in Ambon on Feb. 24-25," Edy said. "Or at least, we'll urge Muslims not to become buzzers or pay for one."