Appreciating the Government’s Commitment to Eradicating Radical Content During the 2024 Election
By: Hidayat Syaiful)*
In the era of globalization and advances in information technology, cyberspace has become a significant arena in forming opinions and influencing people’s views. However, this positive impact is sometimes accompanied by serious challenges, one of which is the spread of radicalism in cyberspace. In particular, ahead of the general election period, attention to radicalism in cyberspace is increasing, considering society’s potential vulnerability to the negative influence of radical content.
It is hoped that the public can understand the dynamics of radicalism in cyberspace, especially in the context of the election. How radical ideology spreads, how digital platforms are used as propaganda tools, and what impact this has on democratic stability, are central questions that require joint attention.
The importance of this understanding is not only academic, but also practical and strategic in order to maintain the security and welfare of society ahead of the general election.
Strong national resilience plays a very strategic role, especially in political and security aspects, especially in the implementation of the 2024 elections. The problems that occurred in the implementation of elections in 2019 are a lesson for the nation, how the practice of intolerance is something that is often shown to the public and becomes a medium for gaining voting support. .
Intolerance that occurs during the political year is something that must be taken seriously by the government and society because its impact is not only during the election, but also has long-term impacts, and if left unchecked, it can become a negative political pattern and mode in the future.
Regardless of who is carrying out intolerance, this condition cannot be tolerated and cannot be justified because it can damage the sense of nationality as a plural country. Not only does it happen directly in society, narratives of intolerance, even those that lead to radicalism, spread in the digital world, especially on social media.
The Ministry of Communication and Informatics (Kominfo) together with the Indonesian National Army (TNI) and the National Agency for Handling Terrorism (BNPT) are intensively monitoring digital platforms to overcome the spread of radicalism and terrorism content ahead of the 2024 Election. The Minister of Communication and Information, Budi Arie Setiadi, revealed that as many as 174 Action has been taken on accounts and internet content, following President Jokowi’s direction to create peaceful elections.
From July to August 2023, Kominfo has cut off access to accounts and content that are indicated to contain indoctrination activities and the spread of radicalism. The majority of content is spread on the Twitter platform (116 content), followed by Facebook (46 content), Instagram (11 content), and YouTube (1 content), as reported by the Directorate of Information Application Control.
Kominfo’s alertness in cutting off this access is in accordance with Law Number 19 of 2016 concerning Amendments to Republic of Indonesia Law 11/2008 concerning Electronic Information and Transactions. Budi Arie emphasized that his party continues to coordinate with the TNI and BNPT to explore accounts that spread content of terrorism, radicalism and separatism.
The public is advised to play an active role by avoiding the spread of radicalism, terrorism and separatist content. Through aduankonten.id or the X@aduankonten account managed by Kominfo, the public can report the existence of suspicious sites or content. This step is part of preventive efforts so that elections are productive and healthy for the Indonesian people.
Kominfo also coordinates across ministries and institutions, including with the Ministry of Religion, to tackle radicalism content. This effort aims to maintain peace in the digital space ahead of the 2024 elections. Budi Arie emphasized that netizens must be careful on social media, a place that is often used by radical groups to popularize radicalism and intolerance.
The government invites the public to play an active role in maintaining a safe and healthy digital space, by sharing positive content. Along with this, the public is asked not to easily believe in hoaxes and propaganda circulating on social media, and to report suspicious content to security forces. In this way, together we can be aware of and prevent potential threats of radicalism ahead of the 2024 elections.
In facing the crucial moment of the 2024 Election, success in creating a democratic, peaceful and conducive atmosphere is a shared responsibility. The threat of radicalism in cyberspace, as previously discussed, is a serious challenge that can disrupt the democratic process and damage societal harmony.
Intensive monitoring from Kominfo together with the TNI and BNPT has become a proactive step in tackling the spread of radical content. Terminating access to 174 accounts and internet content is clear evidence of commitment to maintaining security in the digital realm.
However, this responsibility does not only lie with government agencies. Every individual, as part of a democratic society, has a role in alerting and reporting suspicious content. Public education about the risks of radicalism in cyberspace needs to be increased, and awareness of the importance of maintaining digital space as a positive forum must become an integral part of our digital culture.
Ahead of the 2024 Election, let’s work together to create an online environment that is healthy, civilized and free from the threat of radicalism. With vigilance and active participation from all levels of society, we can ensure that the democratic process takes place without interruption, making the elections a momentum for the Indonesian people to unite in determining the future direction of the country.
)* The author is a social and political observer