President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo leads a limited cabinet meeting at the Presidential Office in Central Jakarta on Thursday (29/12) to discuss measures to prevent the spread of false information on social media. (Antara Photo/Widodo S. Jusuf)

Nat'l Police Advise Responsible Use of Social Media, Jokowi Calls for Education Campaign


DECEMBER 29, 2016

Jakarta. The National Police will continue to investigate hoaxes on social media and prosecute those involved, a spokesman said.

"Those who are spreading hoaxes will be investigated and prosecuted in accordance with the law. Secondly, any institutions, ministries or agencies, as well as members of the public who have been affected by false information should immediately report it to the police to ensure a firm legal response," National Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Martinus Sitompul said in Jakarta on Thursday (29/12).

He also advised social media users are to carefully evaluate the information they receive before sharing it to prevent the spread of falsehoods.

"Blocking is easier now with the ITE [Electronic Information and Transaction] Law. The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has the authority to block user accounts or websites indicated in the promotion of hate speech, radicalism, or exploitation of race, religion, ethnicity and group affiliation. We block what needs to be blocked," he added.

The National Police, National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT) and related institutions may file a request for the ministry to block specific content.

A committee within the ministry will decide whether they need to block the content, as unnecessary blocking will be avoided, Martinus said.

President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo also recently shared his concern over social media provocation and online hoaxes and asked citizens to get behind the national movement to educate people to maintain ethical standards when using social media.

"The movement is very important in educating netizens to use social media in a more positive way, with proper ethics, more productive and based on our cultural values," Jokowi said during a cabinet meeting at the State Palace in Central Jakarta on Thursday.

An estimated 132 million Indonesians have regular access to the internet, with 129 million of them being active on social media.

"As we have seen recently, there is a lot of troubling information dividing the people," Jokowi said. He added that people should consider the negative impact of information technology on society.

He said hate speech, defamation and provocation have been running rampant on social media recently.

"This is not our culture, not our nation's personality. Don't drain our energy with something like this. I have asked law enforcers to take strong action and uphold the law," he said.