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Use Social Media Wisely to Create Peaceful and Hoax-Free Elections

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By: Mika Putri Larasati )*

Indonesia is a country that is in the top 5 as the most users of social media (medsos) in the world. But unfortunately Indonesian netizens are known to lack digital ethics and are easy to fall into hoaxes. The public needs to be educated to distinguish genuine and fake news. If they already have the correct social media literacy, it will create a peaceful election, because it is not easy to be pitted against one by one by provocateurs.

The general election (election) is still one year away but must be prepared from now so that later it will run well. The government, KPU and all other parties are committed to the success of an honest and fair 2024 election. Elections must fulfill the LUBER principle (direct, public, free and secret) and maintain peace.

Ahead of the election, people are asked to be more vigilant, especially on social media. The reason is that there are many hoaxes circulating on various social media and this has become something that is troubling, because it triggers many people to argue and blame each other. Before the social media campaign was heated up because of hoaxes. Do not carelessly participate in spreading it because security forces monitor social media so that there are no provocations and hoaxes.

The public is urged to be wise in using social media to create peaceful and hoax-free elections. The Head of the Pekalongan City Communication and Information Service, Arif Karyadi said that, according to the commitment of the Ministry of Communication and Information and the Indonesian KPU, they agreed to fight fake news or hoaxes. According to him, this is a joint responsibility, not only of Kominfo, to combat fake news that cannot be accounted for. 

Arif continued, the need to improve the literacy culture of the community in receiving information from various existing platforms. Do not easily share information that is not yet known to be true.

Hoaxes are a threat in cyberspace, because because of the fake news/images, many are affected and eventually get emotional. Likewise with provocative content. Everything is produced by unscrupulous people, with the aim of fighting government programs. The rise of hoaxes and provocative content must make people wise to use social media and not be provoked by hoaxes.

Kominfo explained several things that people need to be aware of when surfing the internet media. Among them are defamation, and the spread of fake news or hoax news which often occurs, especially during political years.

Therefore, when the public encounters information or news content that cannot be accounted for, the public must hold back and must be patient or confirm with trusted sources first.

Elections are democratic parties and should be celebrated in a peaceful, happy and happy atmosphere. Don’t let the essence of the word ‘party’ be used as a tool for conflict between groups, by spreading slander and hoaxes.

If hoaxes are not prevented, it will be very dangerous because it can trigger abstentions (white groups) and the election is threatened with failure. Therefore, hoaxes must be eradicated and the National Police ask that the public be aware of the dangers of hoaxes and be able to distinguish between genuine and fake news.

The public must realize that one way to fight hoaxes is to report social media accounts that are spreading fake news/images about the 2024 elections. Apart from being wise in using social media, they must also be able to distinguish between true news and hoaxes. Especially now that news is increasingly widespread from sites that only sell ‘click-bait’, whose content has the potential to be hoax and propaganda.

Then, the next way to counter hoaxes is to report them to the cyber police. At present the National Police already has a cyber police unit whose job is to monitor the actions of naughty netizens who like to spread hoaxes and terror on the internet. If there are accounts of individuals who like to spread hoaxes, the cyber police will be very happy when netizens report them.

Meanwhile, the Head of the Public Relations Division of the National Police Inspector General Dedi Prasetyo said that in securing the 2024 Election, the National Police had prepared an operation codenamed Mantap Brata. Based on research from Kominfo, ahead of entering the political year, the spread of fake news or hoaxes is increasing on social media.

Inspector General Dedi Prasetyo continued, hopefully this meeting between stakeholders will be held routinely to discuss preparations for securing the 2024 election so that it runs safely and smoothly. It is hoped that this meeting will not stop here and can provide education to the community.

Polri is also working with Bawaslu and all elements of society to stem election hoaxes. Hopefully, with this collaboration, hoaxes and propaganda can be prevented, so that people can take part in the election smoothly. The provocateurs can also be arrested because they are proven to have spread hoax news about the 2024 election.

The public is obliged to be wise in using social media, especially during elections. Hoaxes and propaganda in cyberspace can disrupt the 2024 Election and reduce public trust in the government, and increase the level of abstentions. Therefore social media literacy must be socialized so that it is not easy to get caught in hoaxes.

)* The author is a contributor to Persada Institute

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