TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The proliferation of fake news and hatred in social media platforms and online media did not end after the first simultaneous parliamentary and presidential elections in modern Indonesian history.
The targets of these fake news stories and overt hatred are the general public. However, the creators of this content often have dangerous intentions when creating and spreading hoaxes and hate speech, as they seek to divide society.
Those who become victims of fake news are not limited to ordinary citizens, but also public figures, including the country's elites and state officials.
National Police Chief General Tito Karnavian has even become one of the victims of fake news and misinformation.
The fake news sent through Facebook was entitled "HRS (Habib Rizieq Syihab) will conduct a people power; the police: we are ready to shoot on sight those disrupting the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia, though they are the grandchildren of Prophet".
In response to this incident, the National Police public relations division and the Indonesian Ministry of Communication and Informatics marked this statement as a "hoax" on their websites.
General Karnavian denied the truth of the hoax, stating "I never made such a statement. It is groundless, and created in a blog, not in the mainstream media," he told journalists at the National Police headquarters in Jakarta on May 2.
The police have sought to apprehend the creator of the fake news. General Karnavian has said that the police would handle a mass movement of people in accordance with existing procedures.
During any mass movement of people, the police would start with persuasive measures before stepping up to forceful ones, he said.
Also, Presidential candidate number 02 Prabowo Subianto has become a target of a hoax through online media and social media platforms, which published an old photo showing him at an overseas airport's terminal.
As published in https://seword.com/politik/prabowo-kabur-kasus-hukum-dan-potensi-kerusuhan-fxaflu_p0, the photograph for which the Prabowo Subianto-Sandiaga Uno spokesperson, Andre Rosiade, had offered a clarification was published to support Alifurrahman's article.
Seword.com is an online media site that had published several articles on Subianto's travels to Brunei, with one of them entitled "Prabowo runs away: legal case and potential unrest" written by Alifurrahman.
In response to this article on the Seword.com site, spokesman of the Prabowo-Sandi pair Dahnil A. Simanjuntak rejected the content, stating that Subianto had offered his Friday prayer in Hambalang and remained until evening at his home in Kertanegara IV.
According to his Twitter account, Simanjuntak confirmed that "the proliferated photos showing that Subianto is traveling abroad are valid, but they are old ones," and he accused Seword.com of engaging in slander and spreading hoaxes.
Spokesman Andre Rosiade also refuted media reports claiming that Prabowo had left Indonesia for Brunei Darussalam, noting that a photograph circulated by the media was not a recent one.
"Mr Prabowo is still in Indonesia. He is presently at his home on Kertanegara IV Street, Jakarta," he informed ANTARA on Saturday, while tendering a clarification over reports of the presidential candidate number 02 in Brunei being circulated across several news portals.
Subianto is at his home on Kertanegara IV Street from morning to evening and thereafter returned to his residence in Hambalang area of Babakan Madang Subdistrict, Bogor District, West Java Province, in the evening, Rosiade said.
The spokesman reaffirmed that Subianto is still in Indonesia to stay abreast of the ongoing processes of the recent parliamentary and presidential elections.
Speaking in connection with the photo circulated by several online media and social media platforms that showed Subianto and his entourage at an overseas airport's arrival terminal, Rosiade noted that it might have not been a recent photo.
"The photo is likely to be an old one. I do not know when it was taken," he remarked.
On Friday, Berkarya politician Siti Hediati Hariyadi, or Titiek Soeharto, stated that as far as she knew, Subianto was in Indonesia, as he had no reason to travel abroad at the moment.
"To the best of my knowledge, he is in Indonesia. However, please seek information from Kertanegara (Prabowo Subianto's home)," she stated, adding that linking the photo to Indonesia's current political situation was irrelevant.
Being aware of the danger of fake news, hate speech, and slander, Indonesia's cyber communities, including bloggers, vloggers, YouTubers, and content creators, met in Jakarta on March 21.
Zulfikar Akbar, a social media influencer who attended the meeting, urged community members to exercise critical thinking to suppress political conversations on various issues that could disrupt the nation's unity.
"Political conversations are prone to hoaxes. Hence, please be cautious every time you receive political news. Make sure that your alarm of cautiousness is always on, and do not get accustomed to taking whatever is going viral for granted," he suggested.