The Jakarta Post
Dialogue among different cultures and faiths as well as media literacy programs for the public are needed to resolve the current challenges of freedom of expression, such as hate speech, fake news and hoaxes, experts have said.
Speaking at the Global Inter Media Dialogue Conference on Monday, communications expert from the University of Indonesia (UI), Ade Armando, said conservative Muslim groups were enjoying freedom and expressing their aspirations through diverse media, especially social media.
“Expressing different aspirations is no problem. The problem starts to emerge when the groups express hatred for other [religions], calling others ‘kafir’ (infidels),” Ade said at the three-day conference held at the UI campus in Depok, West Java.
He said the government had recently blocked dozens of Islamic websites that were considered to be spreading hatred.
However, he said the Indonesian Ulema Council had opposed blocking the websites as it contravened freedom of expression.
He said the same council had recently issued a fatwa that Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama had committed blasphemy in relation to his speech in September that went viral in social media.
Meanwhile, Elisabeth Eide, a director of the Journalism and Media International Center, Department of Journalism and Media Studies of Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences recommended dialogue and public media literacy to deal with problems related to freedom of expression.
“Exchanges of views, may, in a small, yet pertinent way, contribute to alternative approaches. Media people and researchers can play a vital role,” Eide said. (jun)
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