Jakarta (ANTARA) - Director General of Public Information and Communication of the Communication and Informatics Ministry, Widodo Muktiyo, assessed that the progress of the rapidly developing Internet technology is currently yet to be accompanied by adequate literacy among the public, resulting in cultural shock.

The impact that arises include increasing widespread of false news (hoax) in the cyberspace.

In a statement received by ANTARA in Jakarta, Sunday, Muktiyo said that many are inclined to post false news as they did not filter the contents well.

"They just post and share," he said.

He made the statement in the 2019 Public Dissemination Dialogue Forum, at Tersidi Lor Village Hall, in Purworejo district, Saturday, November 16.

He further said the hoax news, spread in the cyberspace, had now move into the issues of ethnic, religious, racial and inter-group relation (SARA), social, and politics, which could disunite the people.

For that reason, he advised the public to be more careful in using the Internet.

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"If used recklessly, it can trap its users, there are legal consequences that could lead to someone getting sent into prison," said Muktiyo, who is also a professor of the University of Sebelas Maret (UNS) Solo.

Additionally, he provided simple tips for Internet users to avoid falling for false news. First, if they come across news with questionable or doubtful contents, they should cross check with news that came from mass platforms with credible sources.

If they are unsure, they can listen or see information in official government media, such as RRI or TVRI.

Secondly, they are advised to leave WhatsApp groups with contents that are doubtful and filled with blasphemy.

"The Internet and social media should make our lives easier, not potentially trouble us," he said.

The 2019 Public Dissemination Dialogue Forum is part of the discussion and dissemination program of Pancasila Value Integration in the Information Technology Era of the Ministry of Communication and Informatics.

This activity was held to increase public awareness about the importance of literacy by exploring the values of unity and applying them in the midst of technological onslaught. In addition, it reminds the public to apply screening and wisdom in spreading news.

Deputy Chairman of the House of Representatives Commission I Abdul Kharis Almasyhari and journalist Joe Hartoyo were also present at the event as speakers.

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Translator: Fathur Rochman/Aria Cindyara
Editor: Sri Haryati
Copyright © ANTARA 2019