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Beware of Election Hoax Content on Social Media


All parties must be able to continue to increase their self-awareness, especially when dealing with hoax content regarding general elections (elections) on social media so that this actually damages democracy itself in Indonesia, not to mention there is another potential, namely the occurrence of increasingly severe social polarization.

It is hoped that the holding of the Election Democratic Party which will soon be held, namely in 2024, is expected by all parties to be able to run in full conduciveness, honestly and fairly, in accordance with the provisions of the applicable laws and regulations.

However, in order to achieve all of this, of course all parties and stakeholders involved in the holding of elections must have a very high commitment and also take full responsibility.

How could it not be, when the election implementation process is carried out with full honesty and fairness, and continues to improve if there are things that are lacking, then it is not impossible that it will indeed be able to produce a leader figure that is truly expected by the community.

So, it is really necessary to establish cooperation and a good understanding of how to organize election democratic party events. This includes how to continue to uphold discipline and neutrality which is always put at the forefront.

There is one thing that is very important to be able to continue to anticipate and the public needs to continue to increase their vigilance, namely regarding hoaxes related to politics and the 2024 Election. Moreover, for example these hoaxes actually lead to identity politics, which usually cannot be denied will continue to appear in every election held in various years.

The sad thing is that there are certain unscrupulous politicians who then use identity politics and political hoaxes as a way for them to continue to attract the masses and also collect lots of votes in order to achieve their interests.

With so much hoax news or information that continues to be shared on various social media, it is clear that there is a potential for a real threat to the intention of holding a democratic party for the 2024 election.

Related to this, Gadjah Mada University (UGM) Political Communications Specialist, Nyarwi Ahmad, said that indeed with the spread of fake news or hoaxes on social media, especially before the General Election as it is today, then of course this can be very detrimental to the democratic process in Indonesia.

In fact, according to him, with the existence of hoaxes that were spread and then trusted by many people, it did not rule out the possibility that the hoax itself was able to burn the actor who took part in the election himself.

Nyarwi Ahmad likens hoax to a fire. He himself reflected on the implementation of the 2019 general election, where there was a hoax drama which was quite extraordinary so that it gave rise to public distrust of the election organizers, and if this had happened and was allowed to happen, it would be very dangerous.

He revealed that political elites also have an important role to not easily spread invalid information. Moreover, hoax information that aims to damage the character of other candidates in the campaign process.

Nyarwi Ahmad hopes that the Election organizers will be able to become the spearhead in carrying out supervision and strive to keep the spread of political hoaxes suppressed and minimized, especially if it turns out that this was indeed driven by a certain group of political elites.

He continued, currently, there are many ways to prevent hoaxes from spreading so far. In addition to digital literacy, many media are now implementing fact-checking methods . Where if there is viral news that does not have an exact source, then there will be a notification that the news is a hoax. Also, on social media, there is an option for users to read the news first before commenting. This can minimize the spread of hoaxes quickly.

Back again using the analogy of a hoax is a fire, so when someone has the courage to play with fire, then he will have the potential to burn easily. Hoaxes are the same way, when political hoaxes cannot be managed properly, they can damage the country’s credibility and harm those participating in election contests.

Nyarwi Ahmad continued that the public was also able to become the party that was harmed by the continued spread of political hoaxes on social media because the public simply could not get correct information and educate the nation.

The development of the flow of information in an all-digital world like today, as well as the very widespread use of social media actually poses its own challenges, namely the possibility that hoaxes can spread and run rampant and actually be able to damage public opinion, especially when it concerns politics and the implementation of the 2024 Election. Therefore, all parties must continue to increase their self-awareness.

)* The author is a contributor to the Indomedia Gala Institute

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