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Jakarta Post

Blocking internet jeopardizes early warnings

  • Mujiburrahman

Darwin, Australia   /   Wed, September 25 2019   /  01:36 am

The government blocked the internet for the second time last month since a temporary ban was imposed on the grounds of avoiding further violence following the official announcement of the presidential election results. This time the reason cited was to avoid further spread of incitements to unrest after Papuan students were inflicted with racist slurs in Surabaya, East Java. Any good intentions for blocking the internet to stop the spread of hoaxes, hate speech and misinformation, including the sharing of photos and videos on social media, although temporary, do not outweigh the adverse effects. Studies have shown that the effectiveness of banning social media is still disputable. Obvious impacts include financial loses to e-commerce sites, such as online shopping platforms via WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram. What did we learn from the previous internet ban in Jakarta? Missing from the...