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Hoaxes and Hate Speech Disturb the Quality of Elections in Indonesia


By : Elisabeth Titania Dionne )*

The existence of hoax information and also the spread of hate speech is clearly very disturbing to the quality of the implementation of the General Elections (Pemilu) which are to be held in Indonesia in 2024. Therefore, all parties must be able to jointly anticipate and counter it.

Professor of the Datokarama State Islamic University (UIN) Palu, Prof. Sagaf S Pettalongi said that the existence of hoax information and also the spread of hate speech which is usually deliberately disseminated by certain parties who are completely irresponsible really really disturbs the implementation of democratic parties and contests politics in Indonesia.

How could it not be, because of course the existence of hate speech and hoax information will have a very bad impact because it will increase the disruption of regional conduciveness, and also disrupt the unity and integrity of the community which has been very well established so far.

Regarding how the implementation of political contestation in the General Elections (Pemilu) which will soon be held in the country in 1914, he stated that digital developments as well as information which has now spawned various forms of social media platforms, must indeed be admitted to have changed many of the lifestyles society when compared to the past when the digital system was still not as massively developed as it is today.

It is undeniable that the more people come here, the lives of the people themselves cannot be separated from the presence of social media and digital information systems. Therefore, the Chancellor of UIN Palu added that with the developments that had taken place, it had not only had a positive impact, but also had a negative one.

One of the negative impacts of the widespread use of social media is related to how information and digital technology can be used by any party to spread various forms of information, even if it is hoax information and hate speech.

To respond to this vulnerability, all people in Indonesia should also be able to continue to put forward steps for clarification and also ask competent authorities when they get information via social media, especially when the content inside actually contains hate speech, ethnic issues, Race and Intergroup Religion (SARA) to provocation.

It is also very important that there is active participation from all people in the country as well as various related parties to be able to jointly assist in counteracting hoaxes and the spread of hate speech on social media in order to continue to improve the quality of the Indonesian Elections.

This is also still related to how the recent case which is currently viral on social media and much discussed by the public, when one of the political observers Rocky Gerung was considered to have made hate speech and was also suspected of insulting the President of the Republic of Indonesia (RI), Joko Widodo (Jokowi ).

It was not half-hearted, there was even a diction that was later highlighted by the public, which was put forward by the philosopher, namely that he had uttered the diction of Bastard-Silly. Then, the Indonesian Communicologist, Dr. Emrus Sihombing explained that if someone utters such a diction and shows it to other people, even with any social status, this clearly shows that the person who conveys the diction does not pay attention to the axiology of communication.

In fact, this academic stated that the diction put forward by Rocky Gerung can be interpreted as a communication message that is very far from civilized communication and also very far from using common sense. He then advised the whole community when communicating, especially in public spaces, they should be able to use communication messages that are beneficial to other communities and also be able to maintain mutual respect for the civilization of communication.

In the same vein, one of the Social Media Activists, Denny Siregar, also commented on the diction conveyed by the political observer. He considered that even this time, the 64-year-old man had made a statement that crossed the line. He also clearly stated that the words of the philosopher could already be categorized as an insult to President Jokowi.

Meanwhile, the former Democratic Party politician, Ferdinand Hutahaean, also admitted that he had reported the figure of Rocky Gerung to the police at Polda Metro Jaya. For him, the reporting is related to the alleged spread of hate speech, the spread of hoax news and also efforts to transmit inaccurate information to the public.

These various things, starting from the spread of hate speech to various kinds of narratives that have the potential to make things worse for the public and divide the nation, deserve to be eradicated. In order to realize and improve the quality of democracy and the implementation of the 2024 elections in Indonesia, all of these things must continue to be guarded.

)* The author is a Gelora Media Institute Contributor

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