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Jakarta Post

Nine social media, messaging apps agree to combat fake news

  • Safrin La Batu

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, January 31, 2018   /   04:19 pm
Nine social media, messaging apps agree to combat fake news Communications and Information Technology Minister Rudiantara (left), accompanied by the ministry's information and public communications director general, Rosirita Niken Widiastuti, explains the government's efforts to combat fake news and hoaxes during a media visit to The Jakarta Post on Feb. 28, 2017. (JP/Wienda Parwitasari)

Nine social media and messaging app companies signed an agreement on Wednesday initiated by the government to combat fake news and hate speech on their platforms.

Jointly initiated by the Communications and Information Ministry, the Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) and the General Elections Commission (KPU), the agreement aims to protect the country’s people from unverified and misleading content that may spring up during the upcoming 2018 simultaneous regional elections and the concurrent presidential and legislative elections in 2019.

“This is our commitment. We are ready to put forth our maximum effort and capabilities to combat hoaxes and misleading information, which can result in hostility based on religion and ethnicity during the local elections,” said Blackberry Messenger (BBM) Indonesia general manager Anondo Wicaksono, who read out the declaration signed by the platforms.

The nine platforms signing the agreement include: Google, Facebook, Twitter, Telegram, BBM, LINE, BIGO LIVE, Indonesia and meTube. 

(Read also: Govt deploys artificial intelligence to combat internet hoaxes)

Representatives of Google, Facebook and Twitter did not attend the declaration, but Communications and Information Minister Rudiantara said the three platforms had agreed to join the declaration.

The elections of regional heads will be held simultaneously in 171 provinces, regencies and cities across Indonesia in June.

Local elections in 101 regions, including Jakarta, were marred with the spread of fake news via the internet earlier in February last year, prompting the government to take extra security precautions for this year’s elections, including stepping up efforts to combat hoaxes.

“If the Bawaslu orders them to take down an account, they must do it. No more excuses,” Rudiantara said. (ebf)