Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Communication and Information Ministry has urged citizens to remain alert against disinformation on digital platforms ahead of the 2024 General Elections, director general of public information and communication at the ministry Usman Kansong informed.

The ministry has an artificial intelligence (AI) technology named Automatic Identification System (AIS) that filters disinformation in the digital space, including political disinformation, he said at Sebelas Maret University, Surakarta, on Wednesday.

He made the remarks during a literacy forum on democracy at the university, which was entitled “Peaceful Democracy in Digital Era.”

According to the data collected by AIS, there was a significant rise in disinformation during the 2019 elections, he noted.

"This means that as the general election draws near, based on past experience, political disinformation increases," he said.

"There were around 277 (instances involving) political disinformation in April 2019. In April 2018, there were only 14. There was a significant increase in just a year," he pointed out.

Kansong urged the public to be more cautious regarding information ahead of the political year. The public should differentiate information related to negative, positive, and black campaigns.

A negative campaign generally contains information that concerns the weaknesses of election candidates, while a positive campaign promotes the strength of candidates.

However, a black campaign contains false information concerning election candidates.

"Black campaign is not allowed because it is a hoax or disinformation; we need to be careful," he said.

He also asked citizens to use social media in a healthy manner and fill it with productive and positive content.

He also urged the mainstream media to serve as a clearing house by clarifying disinformation ahead of the political year.

The mainstream media enjoys a higher level of trust compared to social media. Thus, it should act as a center that clarifies information for the public.

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Translator: Fathur Rochman, Fadhli Ruhman
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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