TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Communication and Informatics Ministry (Kominfo) announced that it will control information related to the coronavirus pandemic in a move that is claimed will not curb people’s freedom of speech but to clarify misinformation.
The ministry’s director-general of informatics application, Semuel Abrijani Pangerapan said during a virtual press conference on Monday, Oct. 20, that “some information must be clarified to prevent it from creating chaos among society, especially amidst the pandemic.”
He claimed the government’s move was sparked by the emergence of what is known as infodemic - a term coined by the World Health Organization (WHO) referring to the wide and rapid spread of misinformation, which in this case are related to the coronavirus pandemic.
The WHO defines it as an overabundance of information, both online and offline. It includes deliberate attempts to disseminate wrong information to undermine the public health response and advance alternative agendas of groups or individuals.
Semuel maintained that the unfortunate effects of infodemics can be felt in the stigmatization of medical workers, health workers, and coronavirus survivors.