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Jakarta Post

COVID-19: National Police to take legal action against 41 people over internet hoaxes

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, March 24, 2020   /   05:04 pm
COVID-19: National Police to take legal action against 41 people over internet hoaxes A woman passes a mural warning about hoaxes in Rawa Buntu, South Tangerang, Banten, on April 1, 2019. (The Jakarta Post/Dhoni Setiawan)

The National Police, on Monday, announced they would take legal action against 41 individuals for allegedly spreading false information on the internet about COVID-19.

The police’s head of public relations, Muhammad Iqbal, said the action had been taken by police officers from the provincial to sectoral units. However, he did not confirm whether the police had named all the individuals suspects for spreading hoaxes.

“We have performed 24 hour cyber-patrol every day, and as a result, we have found and conducted legal proceedings against wrongdoers for allegedly spreading hoaxes,” Iqbal said in a press conference on Monday.

He urged the public to critically examine information before sharing it with others, especially since false information about the disease could put the lives of many at risk.

Read also: We can all help fight fake news and hysteria over COVID-19

“Spreading hoaxes about the disease is very dangerous since COVID-19 is a very serious disease. If the public believes and follows such information, their lives could be in danger,” said Iqbal.

“Therefore, in addition to tracking down the perpetrators of these hoaxes, we have ordered our officers in all units to educate the public about the disease,” he added.

On Thursday, the police named 30 individuals across the country suspects for allegedly spreading false information regarding the COVID-19 outbreak.

The West Kalimantan Police and West Java Police have announced four suspects each, while the South Sulawesi Police and East Kalimantan Police have announced three suspects each. The Jakarta Police have named two suspects. 

Despite naming the 30 suspects, the police have only placed two of them into custody, as most were deemed cooperative under questioning. (glh)