Synergizing to Prevent Hoaxes and Hate Speech, Creating Healthy Elections
General Election (Election) is a big event that needs to be greeted with joy, but the period leading up to the election often causes the atmosphere to heat up, such as the spread of hoaxes, hate speech and black campaigns. Of course smart voters will be able to prevent themselves from becoming victims of hoaxes, hate speech and black campaigns.
Elections are actually a means to select credible candidates for leaders. That way, the quality of prospective leaders is largely determined by the participation of the community in casting their voting rights.
Mayor of Manado Andrei Angow reminded that the people of Manado City are smart voters. Elections should be an arena for war of ideas, programs and ideas. Many people are swept away because of differences in support. Even though differences in democratic countries are natural things. It is fitting for voters to be able to see what programs and ideas are prepared by the candidates they wish to elect, be they legislative candidates or regional heads/presidents.
Elections are an instrument as well as a concrete manifestation of democracy. In the thoughts of Bung Hatta, the proclaimer and founder of the Indonesian nation, democracy in Indonesia is different from western-style democracy. People’s sovereignty in the west only occurs in the political realm, while in Indonesia people’s sovereignty also covers the social and economic fields.
On a different occasion, the Director General for Politics and Public Administration (Polpum) of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Bahtiar, invited all parties to present peaceful and pleasant elections. Bahtiar also conveyed to Bawaslu that it continues to finalize its readiness to carry out its duties according to the mandate of Law Number 7 of 2017 concerning Elections.
In contests such as presidential or regional elections, conflicts between candidates still occur frequently and this involves both supporters in the real world, such as intimidation by sympathizers because of different shirts, as well as intimidation in cyberspace which is often colored by hoax news and efforts to delegitimize the KPU as an independent institution.
The black campaign model is also often found in every democratic party. Starting from the politicization of places of worship (mosques) to the spread of hate speech, as well as hoax news that has frequently colored the world of social media. So it is very important that the owners of social media accounts have good digital literacy.
The Director of Cybercrime (Bareskrim) Polri, Brigadier General Adi Vivid Agustiadi, said that his party was coordinating with the General Elections Commission (KPU) regarding the hoax video of leaking the 2024 election results. The KPU has denied this information. Therefore, Bareskrim together with the KPU conducted an investigation of who uploaded or uploaded the leaked data for the first time.
The National Police is currently conducting profiling, and if during the profiling period there is a criminal element, it will be followed up. Adi Vivi appealed to the public to be careful in accessing social media ahead of the 2024 Election. People must be able to use social media only for positive things. For example, a researcher from the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), Andi Prince Hasanudin, who was arrested for his remarks on social media.
The increasing number of hoaxes with political themes certainly threatens the quality of democracy in Indonesia. Moreover, hoaxes not only mislead the public, but also delegitimize the process of holding elections, the worst part is that political hoaxes can also create riots in society.
The National Police have taken various precautions to prevent the spread of fake news related to the 2024 ELECTION. Moreover, in 2022, the Police have received 113 reports related to this case. This number is almost four times the number reported in 2021, namely 33 cases. Data on the Robinopsnal Bareskrim Polri e-MP show that there has been an increase in the number of prosecutions, reporters and those reported from 2021 to 2022.
The public must understand that social media users are always under surveillance by the police and the government. When spreading hoaxes, the police and the government will identify whether the upload has the potential to break unity and integrity.
In Law Number 19 of 2016 concerning amendments to Law No. 11 of 2008 concerning information and Electronic Transactions (ITE) regulates the matter of prosecuting cases of spreading fake news. Perpetrators who spread false information face a maximum prison sentence of six years and/or a maximum fine of IDR 1 billion. Therefore, synergy between communities is needed to realize healthy elections.