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Beware of Hoaxes to Create Fair and Peaceful Elections

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Being alert to hoaxes (false or incorrect information spread with the intention of misleading) ahead of elections is very important to maintain election integrity and support a healthy democratic process. Hoaxes can influence voters in the wrong way or worsen the public’s understanding of political issues as well as potential election participants. So this can change the way people choose. Additionally, the spread of hoaxes often increases political polarization by strengthening extreme beliefs and views. This of course has the potential to cause conflict and tension in society.

Another negative impact of hoaxes is that they can damage the integrity of elections by raising doubts about the validity of election results. People may feel that the election results were manipulated. Apart from that, hoaxes can disrupt the election process by causing confusion, conflict and distrust in election management institutions. In extreme cases, widespread hoaxes can lead to physical conflict and riots, especially if tempers flare between supporters of different candidates.

Avoiding hoaxes and contributing to creating fair and peaceful elections is a shared responsibility. The public has a very important role in being wary of hoaxes during elections. Being wary of hoaxes is a collective task to ensure that elections run safely and with integrity and that voters can make correct decisions or information.

In realizing peaceful elections in 2024, the Ministry of Communication and Information (Kemenkominfo) has formed an Anti-Hoax Task Force (Anti-Hoax Task Force). Minister of Communication and Information, Budi Arie Setiadi, explained that the Anti-Hoax Task Force would later provide an explanation regarding fake news to the public. This step was taken to make it easier for the public to catch fake news verification. All false information, be it hoaxes, disinformation or misinformation, will be labeled with a hoax stamp.

The spread of hoaxes during elections can create distrust in the election process and election management institutions. This can certainly damage the foundation of democracy itself. So the government makes various efforts to minimize the spread of hoaxes or fake news so that the election can run conducively and peacefully.

Apart from that, the public can also play an active role in supporting peaceful elections by participating in healthy political discussions and maintaining polite dialogue, even if they have different political views. With vigilance and cooperation from the entire community, we can help prevent the negative impact of hoaxes during elections and maintain a clean and fair election process.

To prevent the negative impact of hoaxes during elections and maintain a clean and fair election process, it is hoped that before disseminating information, make sure to check the truth and authenticity of the information. Apart from that, it is hoped that you use trusted news sources, if you find hoax news, report it to the relevant social media platform or fact website, and encourage other people to report it too.

Apart from that, people can also participate in political campaigns that are positive and constructive. And focus on the real issues and not make personal attacks. Participate in positive campaigns aimed at fighting hoaxes and spreading correct information during the election period.

Hoax news ahead of elections can be a factor that contributes to polarization in society. Political polarization is a condition where people’s political views, attitudes and choices are divided into two or more groups that are very opposing and conflicting.

Chairman of the General Election Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu), Rahmat Bagja, said that hoaxes or fake news are a vulnerable point variable in elections and elections that are unavoidable in the era of digitalization. The main impact of spreading hoaxes is polarization in society. To prevent polarization, Bagja invited the public to be more aware of the spread of hoaxes. Because apart from causing polarization in society, hoaxes can also have other impacts, such as the credibility and integrity of election organizers which can decrease.

Severe political polarization can disrupt the political process, make compromise difficult, and negatively impact social stability. Therefore, it is important to be aware of hoaxes and try to combat the spread of false information so as not to worsen polarization in society. This involves educating the public about media literacy, critical understanding, and openness to differing views, as well as supporting trustworthy and professional news sources.

In the upcoming 2024 election, the stages of which are now underway, the same phenomenon is likely to occur again. Political parties, politicians, candidate supporters and the public have the potential to be exposed to or participate in producing disinformation for various purposes. This is like attacking certain candidates, the credibility of election organizers, or the election process itself.

Therefore, preventing the spread of hoaxes during elections requires cooperation from all elements of society, the media, government and social media platforms. With joint efforts, we can maintain the integrity of the electoral process and ensure clean and fair elections. Apart from that, creating peaceful elections also requires joint efforts. With education, vigilance and shared responsibility, we can help prevent the spread of hoaxes and ensure a fairer and more democratic election process.

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