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Avoid SARA Politics and Hoax Information on Social Media Ahead of the 2024 Election


By: Alexander Joshua Galen )*

SARA politics and the spread of hoaxes are one of the strategies to win elections that are very detrimental and damage the spirit of democracy. So that these two things must be avoided so that democracy in Indonesia can run healthily.

One of the resolutions from Rahmat Bagja as Chair of the RI Bawaslu is his hope regarding SARA Politics so that Hoaxes no longer exist ahead of the 2024 elections.

            Bawaslu is also conducting a thematic election vulnerability index program. For example, the politicization of sara and social media. Both are important things for political actors to campaign for their party’s program and vision and mission.

            His party will oversee all stages that are currently taking place, and in the future it is also possible that they will occur, which is certain to occur, for example at this time monitoring the stages of seat allocation and electoral districts, updating voter data, then also the ongoing DPD nominations, and will also carry out media surveillance. soaia. Both were carried out in order to suppress the politicization of sara, hoaxes and black campaigns.

            According to him, the politicization of SARA issues and identity politics to get sympathy from the public during elections is still very likely if it is not stopped. Therefore, we will find that the same thing is likely to happen in the 2024 elections, and the probability of this happening is still high.

            The man who is a lecturer at Al Azhar University stated that to anticipate the politicization of SARA, his party will work with religious leaders from MUI, PGI, Walubi and others to reduce tension and also politicize sara in places of worship. Moreover, the issue of sara is very closely related to the identity attached to a person. The identity is in the form of religion, ethnicity, race and intergroup.

            It is no exaggeration if sara politics is a form of democratic decline. So there is no such thing as fairness in the application of sara politics for the sake of gaining votes or winning elections.

            Take a look at the politics of sara that occurred in the 2017 Jakarta Pilkada, where sara politics has damaged the social order of a society that has been harmonious and peaceful. Even the issue of sara has also attracted the attention of people throughout Indonesia.

            SARA issues that are often encountered are issues spread through religious pulpits and mass media coverage, both print and online. This is an  easy  way to gain votes, especially if the narrative conveyed is an invitation to hate opposing political figures.

            On the other hand, provocations on sara issues are able to spread more quickly through social media, where now everyone can create more than one social media account, also supported by owning a device connected to an internet connection, of course this will make the spread of hoax provocations spread. rapidly.

            In the context of elections, social media is like a double-edged sword, its existence can be used as an alternative to cheap and even free campaigns, but the existence of social media can also be a cause of division between communities, even for those who don’t know each other. This is proven by the mutual blasphemy in the comments column which flooded the accounts of political organizations and politicians’ accounts. This seems to illustrate how easy it is for someone to express hatred just because of a difference.

            Social media also facilitates the spread of misleading hoax information, moreover political hoaxes have the potential to lead opinions which are prone to spreading hatred between communities. So that it is necessary to strengthen media literacy and political literacy for the community so that they are not affected by everything that is presented in the media, including social media.

            In addition, political parties also need to carry out good political education in order to realize polite and civilized politics. Not politics that only seeks victory by spreading hate speech.

            Don’t let sara politics be used as an alternative means by the winning team to win their party. Because it is clear that politics has the potential to damage the social order and undermine the spirit of democracy in Indonesia.

            In order to avoid sara politics, Bawaslu should be involved in regulating the use of social media in election campaigns for both legislative and presidential and vice presidential elections. Providing digital literacy to the public, especially social media activists, is also deemed necessary, because almost everyone can leave digital footprints on their social media accounts.

            The use of social media is a development in the telecommunications world, where in its use everyone can freely express their thoughts. However, that does not mean that freedom of expression on social media does not have rules.

            Politics of sara and hoaxes are things that need to be avoided in order to realize the spirit of democracy. Differences in choices and thoughts are natural. So we need an awareness for all of us to be careful when accessing social media. Do not be led by rumors or hoax information.

)* The author is a Contributor to Suara Khatulistiwa

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