Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Papua Riot: 62 Social Media Accounts Identified as Provocateurs

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Petir Garda Bhwana

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  • Papua protesters demonstrate with escort from TNI soldiers at the Timika Indah Roundabout, Mimika, Papua, Wednesday, August 21, 2019. Media estimated thousands of people were involved in the protest, though Dedi Prasetyo, spokesman for Indonesia's national police, said only 50 people had taken part in setting fire to several stalls in the market. The situation had been contained, Prasetyo said, without elaborating. ANTARA FOTO/Jeremias Rahadat

    Papua protesters demonstrate with escort from TNI soldiers at the Timika Indah Roundabout, Mimika, Papua, Wednesday, August 21, 2019. Media estimated thousands of people were involved in the protest, though Dedi Prasetyo, spokesman for Indonesia's national police, said only 50 people had taken part in setting fire to several stalls in the market. The situation had been contained, Prasetyo said, without elaborating. ANTARA FOTO/Jeremias Rahadat

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Communication and Information Ministry has identified 62 active social media accounts suspected to have intensively spread provocative hoaxes about the riots in Papua and West Papua. Ministry official said that the sensitive contents were posted to a number of social media platforms.

    "They spread it through Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp chat groups," the ministry's PR Bureau acting chief, Ferdinandus Setu, toldTempo, Thursday, August 22.

    Ferdinandus said that since Monday, August 19, the 62 accounts have intensively spread two doctored videos containing racial slurs. The videos were edited to illustrate abduction of students and residents who were reportedly killed.

    According to Ferdinandus, the ministry is working with the police to investigate the owners of these 62 accounts.

    The ministry is imposing an internet blocking policy in the provinces of Papua and West Papua since Wednesday evening, August 21. Ferdinandus could not confirm when the network blocking would be lifted, and said the ministry is evaluating the policy every three hours.

    This policy, he said, was taken to calm down the situations, taking into account security reasons and the need for orderly conduct.

    He said that the telecommunications network will be back on after situations are normal and if the authorities deem the spreading of provocative hoaxes has subdued.

    FRANCISCA CHRISTY ROSANA