The Indonesian government has stepped up its fight against ‘fake news’ in the lead up to next year’s presidential election by launching weekly briefings aimed at informing citizens of false reports.
“Every week we will announce hoax news,” Communications Minister Rudiantara told CNN Indonesia. “The ministry will not just stamp a story as hoax, but we will also provide facts.”
Rudiantara said the program was part of the ministry’s drive to promote digital literacy and discourage social media users from spreading fake news.
The briefings are set to launch soon and will be facilitated by a 70-member content monitoring team who will identify fake news stories. The debunked stories will be listed on the website, StopHoax.id.
The moves comes as the country prepares for what is expected to be a heated presidential election next April and social media is expected to play a major role in the race. Indonesia has seen a huge growth in social media use and has the fourth highest number of Facebook users in the world.
The ministry often acts to get content removed from social media platforms if they receive complaints from the public, and previously threatened to block Whatsapp messenger unless obscene GIFS by third parties were removed.
Earlier this year, the government claimed that Google removed 73 LGBT-related apps from its Play Store including the world’s largest gay dating app, Blued, following its request.
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