For security reasons, the Communication and Informatics Ministry will require social media operators to make it mandatory for customers to provide cellular numbers when opening accounts.
"Those intending to open accounts must use cellular phone numbers, now it is not like that," Communication and Informatics Minister Rudiantara said, following a hearing with the Commission I of the House of Representatives (DPR) here on Tuesday.
The minister said he had sent letters to social media operators about the mandatory use of cellular phone numbers to open new accounts, as a measure to prevent negative contents.
By having cellular numbers, tt would be possible for authorities to trace or detect account owners disseminating negative contents, including hoaxes and fake news, he said.
The Indonesian Government has earlier obliged all telecommunication operators to require cellular owners to register and provide their profiles, including names and ID numbers, to the companies.
He also asked the social media to provide artificial intelligence and learning machine for users.
"So, it would be faster to look for violations. We would not need to look for, and only report later. The platform should be able to carry out early detection by using artificial intelligence and learning machines," the minister said.
The ministry imposed restrictions on social media usage last May prior to, during and after the announcement of the presidential election results by the General Election Commission (KPU) on May 22, 2019, which triggered a protest in Jakarta on May 21-23, 2019.
Ferdinandus Setu, the ministry's spokesman, noted that the social media restriction was situational and the final course of action would be determined after evaluating the content, extent of dissemination, and quantity of its use.
The ministry is currently stepping up the monitoring of social media to keep track of the rise in provocative content that could create rifts in the nation, similar to what had taken place in May, he stated.
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