Hoaxes Not Affecting Electability, Analysts Say



Laila Afifa

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  • Hoax illustration. shutterstock.com

    Hoax illustration. shutterstock.com

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The spread of hoaxes and fake news has little effect on the electability of presidential candidates Joko Widodo-Ma'ruf Amin and Prabowo Subianto-Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno. Rizka Halida, a senior researcher at the Indonesian Political Indicator (IPI) survey agency, said that hoaxes are only discussed by supporters of the presidential candidate.

    "Hoaxes sell well among supporters, but they do not affect the political 'faith' of supporters," Rizka said in Jakarta, Tuesday, March 5.

    Rizka said that a number of surveys showed no change amid increasingly intense spreading of hoaxes and fake news. He said that this is influenced by several factors, such as selective exposure; in which the public choose which information they want to see.

    Read: LSI Denny JA: Jokowi, Prabowo's Electability Stagnant

    Another factor is confirmation bias. "If there is a hoax about one candidate, the supporters will suspect that it was made by the opponent. On the other hand, they tend to believe hoaxes about a candidate they do not support."  

    This tendency was revealed in IPI's survey released in early January. The survey dubbed 'Social Media, Hoaxes, and Partisan Behavior' had 1,220 respondents and an error rate or 2.9 percent.

    Arya Fernandes, a researcher from the Center for Strategic and International Studies' Department of Politics and Social Change, said the same thing. According to Arya, hoaxes have more influence on voters who have not yet made their minds about.