Indonesians Turn to Twitter as Govt Limit Instagram, Facebook Use



Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Indonesians turn to Twitter to share videos and images as Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp remain to operate with limited access today, May 23. The government has decided to limit the use of the most popular social media platforms in Indonesia, out of fear that they would be used to spread hoaxes and false, misleading information.

    As a result, Twitter is seeing heavy traffics of posts from Indonesia about the May 22 rally-turned-riot. 

    The government began limiting access to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and WhatsApp since Wednesday noon when the May 22 rallies in Jakarta turned into a clash between rioters and officers. 

    In a press conference, Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law and Security, Wiranto, said that social media access disruption will take place for three days until May 24.

    Wiranto said the policy is aimed at protecting innocent Indonesians from hoaxes circulating on the three social media platforms, and to prevent the May 22 rally to create more division and trigger more riots.

    Likewise, Communication and Information Minister Rudiantara also stated that the government had made temporary and gradual restrictions on access to social media and instant messaging platforms. As a consequence, he said, there would be a slowdown for uploading and downloading image and video contents.

    "We will all experience a slowdown downloading or uploading videos," he said.

    According to Rudiantara, features that are restricted and deactivated temporarily are sharing images, photos and videos. "Because psychologically videos and images can evoke emotions," he explained.

    Rudiantara ensures that text delivery services can run normally. Cellular voice and SMS calling services are also accessible.


    Read: Gov't Limits Social Media Features to Prevent Hoax Spread