Government: Coronavirus Hoax Spreaders Face 6 Years behind Bars

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  • Communications and Information Minister Johnny G. Plate. TEMPO/Ahmad Tri Hawaari

    Communications and Information Minister Johnny G. Plate. TEMPO/Ahmad Tri Hawaari

    TEMPO.CO, JakartaCommunications and Information (Kominfo) Minister Johnny G. Plate has reminded citizens to refrain from spreading hoaxes, as his ministry has found at least 54 hoaxes about the coronavirus that were spread through social media and instant messaging platforms until Monday, February 3, 2020.

    “If there is a violation of the provisions of the Electronic Information and Transactions Law (ITE Law), hoaxes may be subject to sanctions," Johnny said in a written statement, on Monday, February 3, 2020. 

    Based on ITE Law, every individual who intentionally and without the right, spreads false and misleading news that results in consumer losses in Electronic Transactions will be sentenced to maximum imprisonment of six years and/or a maximum fine of Rp1 billion.

    Johnny said that the Automatic Identification System (AIS) Team at his ministry found there were 54 hoaxes about the coronavirus in various contents, ranging from the source of the spread, news of patients in hospitals in several areas being infected by the coronavirus, as well as on matters of prevention and cure. 

    According to Johnny, over the past two weeks, the distribution of hoaxes and false information regarding the spread of the coronavirus in Indonesia has been increasing.

    As a result, according to Johnny, his ministry has proactively blocked the contents and encouraged law enforcement officials to take action against the perpetrators of the spread of hoaxes related to the coronavirus. According to him, the results of social media traffic monitoring on conversations related to the coronavirus also tend to increase. "Three days ago we monitored that there were 36, today almost double the hoaxes and false contents disseminated," said Johnny.

    Furthermore, Johnny emphasized that his ministry had blocked the hoaxes and disinformation contents and would take action through law enforcement officers. "We do not hesitate to block and encourage law enforcement to take decisive steps," he said.


    Reporter: Caesar Akbar

    Translator: Dio Suhenda