Papua Unrest; Gov't Traces Hoaxes' Origins in 20 Countries

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Laila Afifa

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  • Smoke is seen during a protest in Jayapura, Papua, Indonesia, August 29, 2019. Indonesian President Joko Widodo called for calm on Thursday evening, telling reporters he had ordered

    Smoke is seen during a protest in Jayapura, Papua, Indonesia, August 29, 2019. Indonesian President Joko Widodo called for calm on Thursday evening, telling reporters he had ordered "firm action against anarchist and racist actions". He promised to further develop Papua. Antara Foto/Dian Kandipi

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Communication and Informatics (Kominfo) Minister Rudiantara claims that the spread of fake news and hoaxes regarding the Papua unrest was able to be tracked back to sources in 20 countries. However, he does assert this doesn’t necessarily mean that the citizens of the countries are accountable.

    “The citizens not necessarily are the ones who spread the hoax, but it can be traced back to the country. We monitored 20 countries that mentioned contents related to Papua and found roughly 500,000 hoaxes,” said Rudiantara at his headquarters on Thursday, September 5.

    According to the minister, the list includes Europe, Asia, and neighboring countries. The minister was reluctant to disclose his team’s findings in detail.

    He says that on September 3, URLs that spread hoax or provocative contents about Papua reached 550,000, which was largely distributed via Twitter.

    As of today, Rudiantara claims that the internet connection in Papua and West Papua have returned to normal while Jayapura and Manokwari are preparing special internet access for mass media in the areas affected by the damaged connection.

    Kominfo’s acting-Head Spokesman Ferdinandus Setu says the government's internet bandwidth throttling policy had been gradually revoked since Wednesday night on September 4, 2019.

    MUHAMMAD HENDARTYO