Another serious problem behind Haringga Sirla tragedy

Another serious problem behind Haringga Sirla tragedy

Chairman of the All Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) Edy Rahmayadi (left) accompanied by Deputy General Chairman Joko Driyono delivering a press statement in Jakarta, Tuesday (09/25/2018), regarding the death of Persija supporters, Haringga Sirila, ahead of the League 1 Indonesia match in Bandung , Sunday (09/23/2018). (ANTARA/Gilang Galiartha)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The death of a Persija supporter, identified as Haringga Sirla, has not just left miseries to the victim`s parents and family members.

His death has also triggered a public debate on whether or not the League One remains continued or it should temporarily be frozen.

Amid the continuing public debate on the fate of the League On, the murder of Haringga Sirla was condemned by various elements of the Indonesian society. Jakarta Governor Anis Baswedan and West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil joined those condemning the murder of this Jakmania member.

They, however, have handed over the criminal case to the police. The Indonesian under-16 soccer team also expressed condolences over the demise of the Persija supporter after being allegedly beaten insistently by those supporting the Persib Bandung team.

The Indonesian U-16 team conveyed its condolences through a video recording uploaded on the official Instagram page of the team coach, Fakhri Husaini, @coachfakhri, on Monday. After extending their condolences, all those in the video exposed the palms of their hands to the camera and exclaimed simultaneously: "Stop violence in football!"

Apart from the sadness of those missing Haringga Sirla, a 23-year-old Jakmania member and Persija supporter who was killed in the courtyard of the Bandung Lautan Api sports stadium in the West Java provincial capital of Bandung on September 23 2018, there is another serious problem left behind by several irresponsible people.

The problem has nothing to do with the works of police investigators, who are handling this murder case. Instead, it is related to the proliferation of hoaxes that potentially create a new problem if it fails to be responded properly by law enforcers.

According to local media reports, following Sirla`s death, a fake news stating that the Persija supporters raided vehicles with specific license plates on Jagorawi toll road went viral on social media.

In response to this development, Spokesman of the National Police Inspector General Setyo Wasisto said police would track down those responsible for spreading the fake news. "Do not spread rumors. We are tracing you, and will take legal action against those spreading fake news," he said on Monday.

Wasisto urged all elements of the society to get rid of those involved in the making and spreading of fake news to the supporters of both the Persija and Persib soccer clubs through the internet.

"I call on the people, particularly the Persija and Persib Bandung fans, to exercise self-restraint. Please let the police probe into this case," he said.

The proliferation of fake news has indeed become a serious threat to the Indonesian people`s unity and social cohesiveness over the past few years. Therefore, when celebrating the country`s 73rd anniversary of its independence on August 17, 2018, Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo had warned of the fake news-related threats.

"Our duty is now fulfilling our independence. Thus, let us defend our country by not spreading fake news and instigating disintegrity. Let us prepare ourselves for being able to face the demands of Industrial Revolution 4.0 era," he said in his speech at the commemorative event of the Independence Day.

In connection with the spread of fake news, Head of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) Advisory Council Din Syamsuddin has also warned that spreading hoaxes contravenes the true value of religions. Therefore, everybody should be able to avoid the proliferation of fake news, he said.

In dealing with the proliferation of hoaxes, credible mainstream media still play an important role but, as revealed by Peter Fray, an outstanding Australian journalist, what the media workers should do is building a good collaboration among themselves.

Thus, Peter Fray urged the mainstream media in Indonesia to collaborate in clamping down on the fake news by conducting collaborative fact-checking efforts to meet their audience and readers` rights to get true information.

Speaking at the Indonesian Press Council`s Forum in Jakarta recently, Peter Fray told tens of local journalists that the collaborative endeavors were needed as the fake news was sharable and spreads 10 times faster than that of facts.

Fray, former editor-in-chief of The Sydney Morning Herald and who is currently a professor of journalism-practice at the University of Technology Sydney, said that the fake news has now become a common challenge for many countries around the world, including Indonesia and Australia.

In combating it, Fray, who has became the guest speaker of the forum co-organized by the Indonesian Editor-In-Chiefs` Forum, Australian Embassy, and Press Council, underlined the importance of being transparent in the search for the true information through fact-checking efforts.

"Be objective, be accurate, be transparent, be in the public interest, be easy to use, and be diverse," he remarked.

Fray`s perspective was shared by former editor-in-chief of The Jakarta Post, Endy M. Bayuni, who moderated the recent seminar, saying that the mainstream media workers` collaborative efforts were needed to stop the spread of fake news by practicing quality journalism in the digital era.

For the senior journalist of Tempo Magazine, Bambang Harymurti, the fake news phenomenon was similar to drinking salt water, which makes people remain thirsty. At the end, they would quench their thirsty by drinking fresh water.

Bambang Harymurti`s opinion may encourage journalists across Indonesia to keep practicing quality journalism because, by doing so, they will be able to help their audience and readers find the truth.

Apart from this, the proliferation of fake news has undeniably become a serious threat behind the Haringga Sirla tragedy that needs to be responded by both law enforcers fiercely, and by media workers immediately.

Editing by Eliswan