"Hoax is slander, and it is even worse because it provokes people to fight against each other. It is a sin," Rudiantara said.Kulon Progo, Yogyakarta (ANTARA) - Communication and Informatics Minister Rudiantara confirmed that his ministry had stepped up cyber patrolling to preempt and prevent hoaxes in the run-up to the simultaneous legislative and presidential elections scheduled on April 17, 2019.
During a visit to Kulon Progo District, Yogyakarta Special Autonomous Region, on Sunday, Rudiantara called on all Indonesians to work towards preventing hoax.
"Hoax is slander, and it is even worse, as it provokes people to fight against each other. It is a sin," Rudiantara noted.
The minister pointed to a recent drastic rise in the number of hoax cases. Merely 25 cases of hoaxes were identified, verified, and validated in August 2018. However, this rose three-folds in December 2018, reaching 75 cases. In January 2019, a total of 175 cases were reported, while 353 cases were cited in February, and 453 cases in March.
The hoaxes being spread pertain to politics, specifically the presidential elections. In March 2019, incumbent presidential candidate Joko Widodo was at the receiving end of hoaxes to a much greater extent than his contender Prabowo Subianto.
"I and several people are concerned over these cases of dissemination of hoaxes. All parties must hold accountability for such dissemination of hoax," Rudiantara affirmed.
The ministry has kept a close guard on social media platforms and called on police personnel to take necessary actions, he stated.
"The Communication and Informatics Ministry has assisted in the profile-making process. Insya Allah (God Willing), those disseminating hoaxes will be identified since digital records are certainly available," he added.
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