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Jakarta Post

Political hoaxes increasing ahead of election: Ministry

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, April 1, 2019   /   05:35 pm
Political hoaxes increasing ahead of election: Ministry Fake news, hoaxes and misinformation are difficult to deal with, but there are ways to spot and fight them. (Shutterstock/Panchenko Vladimir)

The Communications and Information Ministry has found that 130 of 1,224 hoaxes and fake news spread from August 2018 to March 2019 were related to the presidential candidates, political parties and election organizers.

“[The ministry] has taken down the hoaxes from social media, although sometimes they are reposted again,” the ministry's spokesman Ferdinandus Setu said as quoted by kompas.com on Monday.

The ministry started to monitor the spread of hoaxes in August last year when the two presidential tickets announced their candidacy. At that time, the ministry identified 25 hoaxes and fake news spreading on social media.

The significant increase happened in January and February, with more than 75 hoaxes and fake news recorded.

“All of the data regarding the individuals who spread the hoaxes have been given to the National Police's cybercrime unit,” Ferdinandus said.

In the fourth presidential debate held March 30, both candidates – incumbent Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and challenger Prabowo Subianto – elaborated that they were victims of fake news. Prabowo said many people accused him of supporting a caliphate while Jokowi said he had been labelled a member of the now-defunct Indonesian Communist Party.

Ferdinand urged the public to report any indications of hoaxes and fake news to the ministry via [email protected] or its official Twitter account @aduankonten. (Foy/jun)