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Jakarta Post

Buzzers equally as dangerous as unreliable news portals: Press Council

  • Margareth S. Aritonang

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, January 6, 2017   /  08:59 pm
Buzzers equally as dangerous as unreliable news portals: Press Council Suspected -- Selayar Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Eddy Suryantha Tarigan (left) shows copies of social media information released by Nur Rahmat Saleh (second right), who has been named a terrorism and radicalism suspect, in a press conference in Makassar, South Sulawesi, on Jan.4. (Antara/Dewi Fajriani)

While warning the public about the dangers of news portals that produce fake news, the Press Council will also recommend that the government ban portals run by “buzzers” who provide news-like information to boost the image of particular politicians or officials.

Press Council chairman Yosep “Stanley” Adi Prasetyo said like unreliable news portals, buzzers were also sources of misleading information that jeopardized journalism. Unfortunately, news outlets run by buzzers had become information sources often quoted by mainstream media companies.

“Buzzers mostly use social media platforms to promote those who pay them,” Stanley told The Jakarta Post. “It is OK for them to run campaign websites to promote certain officials or politicians, for example, but it is not OK if they provide the information in the form of news as if it’s factual.”

(Read also: Mainstream media responsible for rise of fake news: Press Council)

The Press Council is set to join a council of experts formed by the Communications and Information Ministry to identify questionable news outlets that the government will close down. The effort is being made following the widespread circulation of fake news in the country.

The National Police will also step up law enforcement efforts to hunt down producers of fake news on the internet by strictly imposing the 2008 Electronic Information and Transactions (ITE) Law. (ebf)

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