Spreading Black Campaign On Social Media, Does It Smear Democracy In Indonesia?

Spreading Black Campaign On Social Media, Does It Smear Democracy In Indonesia?

During the campaign period at the concurrent regional elections in 171 regions around Indonesia, we must give a serious attention on the spreading of hoaxes and black campaign on social media, because it does not tackle or handle, it will make smear and break democracy in Indonesia.

In the several places in Indonesia, the law enforcement had been monitoring the circulation of negative campaign, black campaign, hoaxes and other opinion camouflage on social media, such as in Gorontalo province, one of Facebook account had been used to spread discredit information from one of Gorontalo’s mayor candidate, but after investigated by the law enforcement apparatus, the owner of those account had been said his account had been hijacked by other user since his lost smartphone.

The spreading of negative campaign, hoaxes and black campaign on social media had been happening and finding in several provinces such as Bangka Belitung, North Sumatera, South Sulawesi, North Sulawesi, North Mollucas, Central Kalimantan, Bali, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), Jambi, Banten, Central Sulawesi, and Southeast Sulawesi and maybe it could be happened in other

Ahead of simultaneous regional elections in June 27 amd next year presidential and legislative elections, police have upped their game in fighting hoaxes and hate speech on social media platforms.

In the first two months of this year, the National Police Criminal Investigation Department’s cybercrime division arrested at least
24 people for allegedly spreading hoaxes or inciting hatred. Police handled 1,829 hate speech cases on social media in 201, and the number sharply increased to 3,325 cases in 2017.

A 2016 study from Central Connecticut State University in the United States on the world’s “most literate nations” gave Indonesia the
second-lowest score among 61 countries assessed.

Many of pundits had predicted that an increase in rampant hoaxes and hate speech based on race or religion had been began since the former Jakarta’s governor, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama aka Ahok did blasphemy speech which it was insulted Muslim community in Indonesia.

Meanwhile, President Joko Widodo has also asked the police to take firm action against those allegedly spreading hoaxes and hatespeech. “I have ordered the police chief to take firm action against those who violate the law and do not hesitant,” said Jokowi last week.

According to the Communications Ministry required mobile phone users last August to register themselves to reduce the possibility of anyone misusing their mobile phone numbers to spread hate speech or hoaxes. As of March 12, 315 million of 370 million active mobile phone numbers in Indonesia have been registered.

Amnesty International Indonesia director Usman Hamid said he had detected an increase in political hatred since 2017, while social media provided the tools and space to post any political expression.

However, hoaxes still seen as threat. Indonesia had been dealing with “post-truth” since 2016, in which objective facts were
influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotions and personal beliefs. Therefore, hate speech and fake news could be used by certain actors to achieve their goals, including during the preparation of concurrent regional elections in 171 regions.

Basically, politicians have always lied. Does it matter if they leave the truth entirely. They called as art of the lie. Post-truth
politics has many parents. Some are noble. The questioning of institutions and received wisdom is a democratic virtue. A skeptical lack of

was hastened because brave people were prepared to challenge the official propaganda. But corrosive forces are also at play. One is anger. Many voters feel let down and left behind, while the elites who are in change have thrived.

Post-truth has also been abetted by the evolution of the media. The fragmentation of news sources has created an atomized world in which lies, rumour and gossip spread with alarming speed. Lies that are widely shared online within a network, whose members trust each other more than they trust any mainstream media source, can quickly take on the appearance of truth. Presented with evidence that contradicts a belief that is dearly held, people have tendency to ditch the facts first. Well intentioned journalistic practices bear blame too. The pursuit of “fairness” in reporting often creates phoney balance at the expense of truth.

Last but not least, we must tackle hoaxes etc which can produce “post-truth” during the preparation of the regional elections,
because the failure to deal these matter will be smeared democracy climate in Indonesia and producing unanticipated shock or strategic surprises during and after elections. Beware of that. Hopefully.

*) Toni Ervianto, The writer had earned his master at the University of Indonesia (UI)

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