TEMPO.CO, Padang - Head of the National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) Suhardi Alius warned the public about the outspread of radicalism on the social media.
“Members of the public need to seriously filter the information that they receive because social media has been used as a tool to spread racial ideas,” he said Thursday, March 1.
Suhardi said that one the problems is people's unsettling habit and culture to share information without fact-checking.
He argues that the contents circulating on social media have proven to provoke society, either through hoax contents, disinformation, and other similar contents. He categorized hoaxes as a sub-category of radicalism since the backlash it provokes has serious consequences.
“Especially if the person who is provoked is a person equipped with minimal knowledge. They can consider the provocation as a truth,” Suhardi worried.
This is the reason why BNPT highly appreciates police efforts in arresting the suspects responsible for spreading hoaxes throughout social media who have been also known to spread the seeds of radicalism.
The National Police arrested and named five people as suspects for that are allegedly involved in spreading hoax on a massive scale through social media. The group is widely known as The Family Muslim Cyber Army (MCA).
The five suspects were arrested in different regions, such as North Jakarta, Pangkal Pinang, Bali, Sumedang, and Palu. Based on gathered police evidence, the MCA group has notoriously spread hoaxes linked to ethnic, religious, racial and societal group (SARA) issues through Whatsapp messenger.