The 2024 Election Must Be Safeguarded, Beware of Hoaxes That Can Divide the Nation
Ahead of the 2024 General Election (Pemilu), obstacles and threats have the potential to emerge which are feared to disrupt the implementation of the Election itself. Public awareness and vigilance must be increased because provocation by individuals who want chaos during the elections will reappear, in various ways, one of which is by spreading hoaxes or fake news.
Hoax is fake news that is deliberately carried out by a person or group for a specific purpose. Currently, hoaxes related to the 2024 Election are an issue that needs to be watched out for. Hoaxes or fake news are spread with the aim of influencing voters or creating distrust in the election process. Hoaxes of this kind can harm the integrity of elections and influence the results.
The public has a very important role in being aware of hoaxes during the 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. There are several reasons why the public should be wary of hoaxes during the elections.
First, Influence on Voter Decisions. Hoaxes can influence voter decisions by spreading false or biased information. This can lead to elections that do not reflect the true desires of voters.
Second, Distrust of the Democratic Process. The spread of hoaxes during elections can create distrust in the electoral process and democratic institutions. This can certainly damage the foundation of democracy itself.
Third, Increasing Polarization. Hoaxes are often used to divide society and create greater polarization. So this can exacerbate political tensions.
Fourth, Uncertainty and Chaos. Hoaxes can create chaos during elections by spreading misinformation about election schedules, voting locations, or election results.
Fifth, Increase Digital Literacy. Being aware of hoaxes can increase people’s digital literacy. This helps individuals become more intelligent in evaluating the information they encounter on the internet.
Sixth. Supporting a Healthy Democracy. A healthy democracy requires conscious participation and correct information, so being aware of hoaxes is a way to support a strong democracy.
From the points above, learning how to identify hoaxes and false information is a very important step. Before sharing information, verify its authenticity through trusted sources. Additionally, when participating in political discussions, do so in a thoughtful, fact-based manner, and avoid spreading rumors or false information.
In the 2024 elections, 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.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Indonesian Anti-Defamation Society (Mafindo), Septiaji Eko Nugroho, said that the increasing number of hoaxes with political themes that have been verified has the potential to threaten the quality of the democratic party. Apart from that, hoaxes not only damage the common sense of potential voters, but also delegitimize the process of holding elections, and worse, can damage social harmony, leading to national disintegration.
Septiaji also said that fake news, if repeated repeatedly, could be considered by the public to be the truth. Therefore, logic and feeling must be used, so as not to be carried away by any unclear news.
The Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs (Menko Polhukam), Mahfud MD, also said the same thing, who asked the public to be wary of fake news or hoaxes which circulate very easily and quickly on social media. Whether it contains religious issues, money politics issues, even issues about the role of the judiciary in organizing elections. Apart from that, all elements of society need to work together to improve their literacy skills so that they are not easily incited by hoaxes, as well as being careful in carrying out activities on social media in conveying information.
Apart from that, Mahfud MD also appealed to all elements of society to maintain regional conduciveness for the sake of a peaceful 2024 election. And the public must be more alert to hoax issues that can divide the nation.
In dealing with the consequences of election hoaxes, it is important for the government, media, civil society organizations and society to work together to combat the spread of fake news. This involves voter education, strict law enforcement against hoax spreaders, and efforts to increase media and information literacy in society. With appropriate action, the impact of hoaxes on elections can be minimized, and the integrity of the election process can be maintained. Apart from this, the public must understand that hoaxes are dangerous for the future of our nation, but that alone is not enough. The public must also have the ability to sort and choose which news is true and which is false. Digital literacy activities must be carried out involving multi-sectors, this is not just the government’s obligation, but for anyone who doesn’t want this country to be immersed in an information disaster due to hoaxes