Press Council reminds mainstream media not to refer to social media

Press Council reminds mainstream media not to refer to social media

Denpasar, Bali (ANTARA) - Chairman of the Press Council Yosep Adi Prasetyo has reminded the mainstream media to not use social media as a reference because it might lead to the public believing in hoaxes and distrusting credible official institutions.

"Cases of (fake news) with regard to millions of workers from China and a (twisted) statement of Mr Wiranto on shutting down the media are proof that the media have used social media as a reference; in fact, the information is only based on talking news, and not precision," he said here on Thursday.

The public will believe incorrect information from social media if the media reports it, he said.

"In fact, the statement of President Jokowi was that 'the Government will invite 10 million Chinese tourists'. But social media twisted it into 'The Government will invite 10 million Chinese workers', and unfortunately, this twisted news was quoted by the media without confirmation," he said.

As a consequence, it took more than 2.5 months for the Government to clarify the news, he said.

A similar case occurred with regard to Wiranto's statement on shutting down the media, he said. "The real information is 'the Government will shut down fake accounts that insult officials'. But, it was twisted on social media into 'the Government will shut down media that insult officials,' so it turned into a controversy. In fact, the media is under the authority of the Press Council, while social media is under the Communication and Informatics Ministry," he said.

In the post election period, the media must be careful and not refer to social media, because it could hurt the state order and put the nation and the country at a disadvantage, the Press Council chairman said.

He asked the media to be careful because, at present, the mainstream media is the only reference that can save the nation and the country.

"We can be optimistic because the media will side with the public," Prasetyo, popularly known as Stanley, said.