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Indonesia fights fake social media accounts

Indonesia fights fake social media accounts

Social media (illustration/pixabay)

Bogor, W Java, (ANTARA News) - Facebook's decision to take down hundreds of pages, accounts, and groups for engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior has demonstrated a serious problem regarding the misuse of this social media platform in Indonesia.

The problem looks more serious because the removed FB pages, accounts, and groups were linked to Saracen Group, an online syndicate that the Indonesian police had investigated in 2017 for allegedly proliferating hoaxes in cyber network.

In a press statement published in the official website of this California-based global company on Jan 31, 2019, Head of Facebook's Cybersecurity Policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, said those pages, accounts, and groups were linked to the Saracen Group.

He revealed that engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior on Facebook in Indonesia had caused a total of 207 Facebook Pages, 800 Facebook accounts, 546 Facebook Groups, and 208 Instagram accounts, linked to the Saracen Group, to get removed.

Those pages, accounts, and groups were also feared to mislead others about who they were and what they were doing. The coordinated abuse of the platform using inauthentic accounts was a violation of Facebook's policies.

Therefore, Facebook banned the entire organization from the platform, Gleicher stated, adding that the main reason for taking down those pages, groups, and accounts was based on their behavior and not the content they were posting.

"In this case, the people behind this activity coordinated with one another and used fake accounts to misrepresent themselves, and that was the basis of our action," Gleicher added.

Indeed, the use of inauthentic accounts of social media platforms have become a serious problem among a huge number of internet users in the country because certain irresponsible people are even brave to use the name of Indonesian military (TNI).

In connection with this problem, the Communication and Informatics Ministry has recently removed a fake Instagram account illegally using the name of the TNI, whose contents threatened leftists.

The fake Instagram account was called @tni_indonesia_update, the ministry revealed in its press statement made available to Antara on Feb 7, 2019.

The fake social media account proliferated hate speeches and threats stating that the account creator would "crush" leftists with critical thoughts and those alleged to be members of the new generation of the banned Indonesian Communist Party (PKI).

The Indonesian Army spokesman Brig. Gen. Candra Wijaya told the Communication and Informatics Ministry`s officials that the Instagram account of @tni_indonesia_update did not belong to the Indonesian Army.

The army`s official Instagram account is @tni_angkatan_darat. Regarding this issue, the TNI headquarters had officially asked the ministry to take down all social media accounts illegally using the name of the TNI on Feb 6.

In response to this request, the Communication and Informatics Ministry has urged internet users to report fake social media accounts or those containing fake news, slander, and hate speech to twitter @aduankonten, and website

The internet users may also report them by sending WhatsApp messages to the phone number 08119224545.

The negative impact of the massive uses of social media platforms in Indonesia is perceived as a challenge that needs to be responded wisely by the TNI personnel.

For this purpose, Indonesian Military Commander Air Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto recently ordered members of the military police corps to upgrade their digital skills to deal with an increasing trend of cybercrimes on internet-based media.

"As a precautionary measure against the increased incidents of cybercrimes on electronic and social media platforms, the military police corps` members should be adaptive to the latest developments in information technology," Tjahjanto stated.

Speaking at a roll call at the Halim Perdanakusuma Air Force Base in East Jakarta on Feb 8, Tjahjanto emphasized that having sufficient digital skills would enable personnel of the military police corps to take necessary measures to deal with cybercrimes.

The personnel could also safeguard themselves from being affected by fake news circulated through various social media platforms and participate in defending TNI`s good image from the impact of proliferated hoaxes, he noted.

Apart from the ongoing efforts to upgrade digital skills and launch public awareness campaign on the importance of wise and appropriate uses of social media platforms as carried out by the TNI, the law enforcement needs to be imposed to unlawful users.

Actually, the Indonesian police have been attempting to stop the proliferation of fake social media accounts and spread of fake news, hate speech, and slander in the wake of this year`s parliamentary and presidential elections.

The East Java police cyber crime unit, for instance, has shut down several thousand social media accounts.

"We have taken down thousands of social media accounts, including those from the platforms of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, as they spread hoaxes," the East Java Police spokesman, Sen. Coms. Frans Barung Mangera, revealed last January.

Those allegedly spread hoaxes or wrote hate slanderous statements have even been brought to court. Several of them have been jailed.