TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Communication and Informatics Ministry (Kominfo) strongly reminded the public to carefully vet each and every online information about the coronavirus outbreak from Wuhan. This warning comes after the ministry found numerous fake news or hoaxes online regarding the worst international emergency after SARS.
“Don’t be too quick to share information that has yet to be confirmed,” said Kominfo Minister Johnny G. Plate in a press conference on Monday, February 3, 2020.
Moreover, the ministry found at least 54 hoaxes about the coronavirus crisis that spread through social media and text message mobile applications from January 23 up to February 3 that ranged from news about coronavirus deaths in Indonesia up to information stating that garlic was able to cure Wuhan coronavirus patients.
Kominfo also said the spread of hoaxes related to the outbreak tended to be more frequent as there were 36 recorded hoaxes circulating on January 31. The immediate action taken by the government was blocking the accounts that had spread the disinformation.
The Director-General of Informatics Applications, Semuel Pangerapan, asserted in the press conference that the government would take firm action against people who were responsible for spreading disinformation and hoaxes about the Wuhan coronavirus.