Bawaslu Synergize with Facebook to Keep Off Hoax in Elections

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  • Bawaslu leader Nasrullah. TEMPO/Denis Riantiza

    Bawaslu leader Nasrullah. TEMPO/Denis Riantiza

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Election Supervisory Board (Bawaslu) and Facebook form a partnership to keep off the black campaign, hoax news, and hate speech in social media ahead of 2018 Regional Head Election (Pilkada) and 2019 Presidential Election (Pemilu).

    Bawaslu commissioner Muhammad Afifuddin stated the cooperation as a follow up of the MoU signed by the Communication and Informatics (Kominfo) Ministry and application platforms in Indonesia.

    “It aims to keep off the negative campaign, black campaign, and false campaign during the election in social media,” said Afifuddin when met on the sideline of a workshop about election campaign on the internet in Jakarta, Thursday, March 22.

    The workshop is participated by Bawaslu members in 34 provinces all over Indonesia. They receive training from Facebook in detecting social media account which possibly threatens the integrity of elections. “We coordinated with Facebook and they're willing to help,” he said.

    Read: Hate Speech and SARA Threaten 2018 Regional Elections

    According to Afifuddin, social media may give a huge contribution in disseminating the candidate’s program, vision, or mission during the election. However, on the other side, it will be used as propaganda tool regarding SARA (ethnicity, religion, and race) and hate speech.

    Afifuddin stated any propaganda accounts will be shut down by Kominfo Ministry. “So far, Kominfo has the right to inactivate all those accounts,” he said. With the training, Bawaslu members will then understand the way to detect the accounts practicing the black campaign, spreading hoax news and so forth to further report it to the ministry.

    He explained each candidate is allowed to have five official accounts but fake accounts might pop up to do the negative campaign. “After the training, Bawaslu will then know how to report those illegal accounts,” said Afifuddin. He claimed Bawaslu has found many accounts spreading a hoax and negative news but he reluctant to say the number.

    Moreover, Bawaslu is still trying to have direct coordination with Facebook without going through Kominfo Ministry to diminish such hoax spreader accounts. “We will maximize our prevention efforts even if it is really hard to completely clear social media from such crimes,” Afifuddin asserted.