Rudiantara: Hoaxes Can Be Countered through Literacy

That internet emerges and is indivisible from human life is an impact of the fourth industrial revolution. Due to a lot of fast and easily spread information, Indonesian government cannot entirely control illegal information. For instance, hoaxes disseminated in Indonesia contains information which may trigger disunity and disrupt welfare of this nation.

At Pengajian Ramadhan of PP Muhammadiyah 1439H with the theme of ‘Digital Civilization: Enlightening Dakwah in a Millennial Era on Thursday (24/5) at Building of A.R. Fachruddin B of Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta (UMY), Minister of Ministry of Communication and Information Technology of the Republic of Indonesia Rudiantara stated that we can prevent the hoaxes through being more selective in receiving and spreading information. Apart from efforts of government, particularly Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, community plays essential roles in filtering hoaxes. Thus, literacy is the best solution to encounter the rapid information flow.

Rudiantara informed that there are 254 million SIM cards in Indonesia. With a two third approach, 175 Indonesian people have one cellphone. Indeed, 143 million Indonesians used internet in 2017. Thus, the cell phone is a medium which eases people to access social media, online media, and instant messengers such as Facebook and WhatsApp.

Indonesian people based on their use of media can be categorized into three types, namely seeking friends, blessings, and information bringing positive and negative impacts. According to Rudiantara, one of the negative impacts is an issues of hoax dissemination by irresponsible parties trying to cause disunity, He admitted that preventing hoaxes from an instant messenger as WhatsApp is the hardest because government cannot interfere the information spread. “Therefore, we may not be careless on virtual media since the media are an infinite world. Government plays two roles to confront the information dissemination, namely enhancing literacy and restricting access to several websites such as pornography websites. What government is doing now is confining access, but the literacy enhancement is the greatest mean in order that Indonesia people can select and filter information which they receive,” he declared.

Rudiantara added that, if Indonesian people easily receive and disseminate hoaxes, literacy is essential. “There are three ways to identify hoaxes. First, the information is copied and pasted “dari grup sebelah” (from another group). Second, the information is on behalf of certain groups. Last, at the end of the information is written “ayo viralkan” (go viral). Besides decreasing your balance, the information is not true and it can be fitnah. We may not let ourselves lose the balance and hereafter,” he emphasized.

Rudiantara confessed that KOMINFO is not able to face the 143 Indonesian people. If each person makes 10 posts, there will be 1.4 billion posts. “If they have nothing to do, each individual may share 100 posts. Hence, I invite all Muhammadiyag members to do literacy. First, we can write positive contents and post them to counter negative information. Second, we can enhance literacy since it functions to block and refrain from receiving negative contents,” he mentioned.

Rudiantara also expected that university members can take huger roles to escalate literacy Indonesian people in digital contexts. I believe that UMT can contribute to Indonesia in this digital literacy. Thus, we have to go hand in hand to improve literacy of Indonesian people,” he stressed.

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