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Beware of Radicalism on Social Media

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By: Raavi Ramadhan )*

Radicals spread their wings by creating images and content on social media. This is something we must be aware of, because sometimes there are people who are not aware that this is their way to recruit new members. Radicals use social media to seek sympathy and influence many people to hate the government.

Social media fever still plagues Indonesia. There used to be Friendster, followed by Facebook, Twitter and now Instagram. These social media are used by people to make friends in cyberspace, through smartphones. The ease of accessing social media is also used by radicals. They use netizens in Indonesia and brainwash them gently.

On Instagram, radicals are busy creating cursory content that favors religion and goodness. But then it was continued with an invitation to build a khilafiyah state, supporting the movement of radicals, until the recruitment of new members. By utilizing the hashtag, there are many new followers and supporters in their social media accounts.

Why is the influence of radicals channeled through social media more telling? Because when someone accesses a device and opens social media, he is relaxed. On average, netizens are looking for entertainment in their gadgets. When he discovers an account of radicals and his brain is relaxed, his mind is more open and easily subconsciously influenced by radicals.

This condition is certainly a strong warning, because social media exists in cyberspace. Unlike in the real world, there are no guard posts and patrol officers. So they are relatively more free to spread his teachings that are misleading. If there are young people or even children who become followers, it will be very dangerous. Because their brains are still innocent will be more easily influenced by their seduction.

This practice can happen for years. The virtual world can be an arena for radicals to teach guerrilla invitations to form a khilafiyah state. The social media accounts of the radicals can only be discovered when someone neutralizes them and then sues them with the ITE law.

Rachmat Kriyantono, PhD, an academic from Brawijaya University Malang, stated that there are several ways to deal with the ferocity of radicalism in cyberspace. The first is education needs to be improved for social media. What is meant by education is to teach how to have good and true social media and see whether a content there is good or even has a bad influence.

The next way to deal with radicalism in cyberspace is by blocking. The social media office should work together and want to block the bulging accounts managed by radicals. So that there are no more victims next. Then, curriculum is given to students so that they study religion and connect with Pancasila. So in religious studies not only are taught to relate to God, but also with fellow human beings.

In these ways, it can minimize the influence of radicals on social media. Because their accounts were blocked at the request of the government and thanks to reports of netizens who were meticulous about separatist movements. To overcome radicalism in cyberspace, it can also create a lot of content that contains about nationalism, nationality, and the love of the motherland. So netizens will love their country more and don’t want to be persuaded to become members of the radicals.

Radicals acting on social media are very troubling. They use the network there to get investigators and new members. Be aware and don’t let children go to their own devices, check their social media accounts every now and then. The goal is that they are free from the influence of radicals. If there is a suspicious account and it could be owned by radicals, then it can be reported in a group so that the account is closed.

)* The author is a student of the University of Pakuan Bogor

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