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Free of Radicalist Content, Create a Safe and Peaceful 2024 Election

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By: Anggina Rajaguguk*

The spread of radicalism, especially via the internet, is still a serious threat, especially before the election. All parties are invited to always anticipate these threats in order to create an internet free of radical content.

According to the Big Indonesian Dictionary (KBBI), radicalism is a radical ideology or current in politics, an understanding or flow that wants social and political change or renewal by means of violence or drastic, extreme attitudes in political flow.

Radicalism, especially in a political context, is associated with extreme views and a desire for rapid social change. Radicalism is an ideology that can influence the socio-political conditions of a country. Radicalism does not contain a mere set of ideas and arguments, but rather contains an ideology that is considered reasonable to be accepted and become a general view.

General Elections (Elections) are often a sensitive period where radicalism and extremism can re-emerge. This can happen because of differences in political opinion which can be exploited by radical groups. So the public must remain alert to radicalism movements ahead of the 2024 election. Elections are important moments in the democratic life of a country, and radicalism movements can threaten political stability, tolerance and security.

Meanwhile, radicalism in the digital space can refer to the spread of radical ideology, dangerous rhetoric, or acts of extremism through online platforms such as social media, websites and messaging applications. So it is important to increase public awareness about the dangers of radicalism in the digital space, as well as carrying out effective educational campaigns that can help individuals understand how to identify dangerous content and check the veracity of information before sharing it.

Social media, which has grown and developed into a public space, is often used by certain groups to spread radicalism. Digital literacy is a necessity to ward off radicalism and terrorism so that people don’t get carried away by it.

To create a peaceful and conducive situation for the 2024 Election, the Ministry of Communication and Information (Kominfo) has terminated access or taken down 174 internet accounts and content that were indicated to contain indoctrination activities and the spread of radicalism from July to August 2023.

Minister of Communication and Information, Budi Arie Setiadi, said that Kominfo has collaborated with the Indonesian National Army (TNI) and the National Terrorism Handling Agency (BNPT) to continue monitoring digital platforms that contain radicalism and terrorism content. Monitoring results from the two institutions show a significant increase in the spread of radicalism content. Some accounts are affiliated with Jemaah Ansharud Daulah (JAD) and Jemaah Islamiah (JI).

Efforts to prevent radicalism, terrorism and hoax content were taken by Kominfo to ensure productive and healthy elections for the Indonesian people. Of course, his party is working with many parties to discuss which ones are hoaxes and which ones contain radical narratives.

The Minister of Communication and Information is also committed to preparing coordination across ministries and institutions so that negative content does not destroy peace in the digital space ahead of the democratic party in 2024. One of them, to handle radicalism content, Kominfo is coordinating with the Ministry of Religion. Apart from that, former terrorism convict Anriansyah alias Abu Bakar asked the public to fully support the 2024 elections so that they can run peacefully without divisions in society.

Apart from supporting the elections, Anriansyah firmly supports the government’s program to eradicate intolerance, radicalism and terrorism, especially in the digital world. Radical groups often manipulate sentiments towards religion, including manipulating movements and calls on social media with the label of da’wah movements, which is a particular strategy to disrupt the implementation of the 2024 elections.

Radical groups or foreign actors can also utilize social media and online platforms to spread hoaxes, fake news, and propaganda designed to influence voters and create distrust in the election process. In addition, radical groups will attempt to intimidate voters or candidates who may not agree with their views, so that radical groups may engage in acts of violence, threats, or intimidation campaigns.

With the threat of radicalism ahead of the 2024 elections, the authorities must strengthen the legal framework to deal with radicalism in the digital space, including laws regulating the use of social media, sanctions for perpetrators of radicalism, and privacy protection regulations.

Efforts to prevent radicalism, terrorism and hoax content are carried out to ensure productive and healthy elections for the Indonesian people. Apart from that, public awareness of radical content must also be increased, because if not, society could be influenced, thereby having an impact on their social life.

To prevent the spread of terrorist ideology in society, civil society must be strengthened  . This is done by providing guidance and awareness to the public who are often targets for recruiting terrorist members. So within ourselves and in the individual souls of society, we must continue to foster a spirit of unity, to fight radicalism and terrorism, and maintain unity and brotherhood, so that we can continue to live side by side in differences.

The essence of holding elections is to unite fellow members of the nation and contribute to improving the quality of democracy. Therefore, the government invites the public to take part and play a role in maintaining a safe and healthy digital space by sharing positive content.

*The author is a social media activist

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