Jakarta (ANTARA) - Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, Mahfud MD, has urged everyone to participate in halting the spread of hate speech, negative content, and hoaxes in the digital space.

The government cannot address this issue alone, he said.

Cooperation and support from people are necessary for eradicating negative narratives, hoaxes, and other violent extremist content in the digital space.

"Therefore, on behalf of the government of Indonesia, I welcome and appreciate the collective initiatives and efforts that have been made by the Wahid Foundation, Google Indonesia, and UNDP by building the capacity of moderate Islamic scholars," Mahfud said.

Adequate capacities and abilities would allow the scholars to produce and spread messages of peace among citizens, he added.

He emphasized that the government will continue to monitor content containing hate speech.

The same applies to misleading content, which contains misinformation and disinformation, as well as baseless negative narratives, all of which spread rampantly in the digital space.

Such content influence how people think and can even create misunderstanding among the public about any issue, and in the end, disrupt national unity and stability, he opined.

"The availability of information dissemination channels arising from the development of information technology has revolutionized the way we communicate and the way people obtain news sources," he said.

The digital space has become a source of information for the public, which oftentimes ignores public ethics, and becomes a forum for the widespread dissemination of hoaxes and negative content.

He said he believed that the 10 moderate Islamic communities, launched on March 24, 2022, will provide information that can fight and deal with content containing violent extremism in the digital space.

The government will continue to support the collective effort of Wahid Foundation, Google Indonesia, and UNDP, and in the future, it will not stop only at producing positive works, but also think about widening their reach, he said.

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"I also expect that collaboration between the government and civil society such as this will continue to be strengthened in maintaining a diverse, tolerant, and peaceful digital space," he added.

Director of the Wahid Foundation Yenny Wahid also expressed concern over the condition of the public space, which is currently filled with intolerance.

In fact, Indonesia, as a nation, has a heterogeneous population that enables it to practice tolerance because, since the state's creation, it has been surrounded by diversity.

“Our country is so diverse, but unfortunately we still see that there are still many hate speech. Sometimes based on ethnicity and religious issues. They are still scattered in public spaces, both physically, and now they are more prominent because of social media," Wahid stated.

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Translator: Boyke Ledy W, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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