Reasons Why People Trust Coronavirus Hoaxes

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Laila Afifa

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  • People with surgical masks look on at station Tanah Abang, following the outbreak of the coronavirus in China, in Jakarta, Indonesia February 13, 2020. Prices of face masks spiked nearly 10 times in Indonesia triggered by fears over the spread of the deadly coronavirus, as a consumer group head urged the authorities to step in to regulate the growing price. REUTERS/Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana

    People with surgical masks look on at station Tanah Abang, following the outbreak of the coronavirus in China, in Jakarta, Indonesia February 13, 2020. Prices of face masks spiked nearly 10 times in Indonesia triggered by fears over the spread of the deadly coronavirus, as a consumer group head urged the authorities to step in to regulate the growing price. REUTERS/Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The novel coronavirus outbreak that occurred since December 2019 in China until today has indeed attracted public attention. Various news about the new virus flooded social media; some of them are the facts but many others are hoaxes or fake news. Unfortunately, many people trust the hoaxes easily.

    Informatics expert Roy Suryo said the Ministry of Information and Technology had found serious hoaxes relating to the Coronavirus. "Starting from January 23 until today, there are 86 hoaxes," he said after a General Seminar in Depok on Thursday, February 13, 2020.

    According to the Member of the House of Representatives (DPR), there are two main reasons why the people trust the fake news that is indeed very unsettling. 

    First, this can be related to the cabinet changes. Roy explained that the method of delivering information from previous officials is different from the current ones. This certainly affects the people's mindset in responding to a case, including Coronavirus.

    "I'm sure the hoax might never get bigger if there is no change in the cabinet because it is related to the different communication styles of each leader," he said.

    Furthermore, there is no credible statement about the new virus. Roy Suryo said that the Indonesians are actually quite critical. But unfortunately, there is no more detail explanation from the experts to negate the hoaxes.

    "What we need is the answer and explanation from credible sources. For example, the explanation about why Indonesia has not been affected by the Coronavirus. It (the explanation) does not need to be too long, as long as it is clear, so it will be easier for the public to tackle the hoaxes," he said 

    Sarah Elvira Dara Siyahailatua | Galuh Kurnia Ramadhani (Intern Translator)