Jakarta (ANTARA) - Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Mahfud MD and Australian Minister of Cybersecurity Clare O'Neil have concurred on combating misinformation and disinformation.

"Considering the high level of interest of these two countries on this issue, I feel that both our countries can pursue further collaboration and establish a practical program, just like what has been done by Indonesia with ASEAN countries," Mahfud MD said.

Speaking at the 9th Australia-Indonesia Ministerial Council Meeting (MCM) in Melbourne, Australia, on Tuesday, he said misinformation and disinformation can compromise stability and security and also place national unity at risk.

According to his statement received here, the Indonesian Government anticipates the rampant spread of the threat that manifests in the form of hoaxes and clickbaits prior to the general election in 2024.

Minister O'Neil noted that the same occurred in Australia where both misinformation and disinformation became matters of concern, owing to the threat of foreign influences in their elections, according to Mahfud MD in his statement.

Indonesia and Australia harbor common concerns over cybersecurity, as they both experienced attacks that caused their information to be leaked. They both are committed to addressing the issue by intensifying bilateral collaboration as well as sharing experiences and good practices.

The government makes all-out efforts to reduce the impacts of hoaxes and hate speeches that spread on social media platforms and instant messaging, Minister Mahfud MD noted.

Such effort aims to avoid conflicts that arise from violence caused by hoaxes, the minister stated.

He drew attention to measures that can be taken, such as law enforcement, involvement of digital platforms' services, and educating public on digital literacy, so they will be able to avoid misinformation.

"Indonesia sees the importance of collaboration with many stakeholders to improve capacity in addressing threats of misinformation and disinformation, (both of which) have become a concern for everyone," he affirmed.

In Indonesia's ASEAN Chairmanship 2023, the government has proposed the draft of guidelines for state civil apparatuses on countering hoaxes and disinformation to the ASEAN secretariat, he affirmed.

"It is expected that this guideline can become a reference for ASEAN member countries in developing (their own) guidelines or strategies in addressing hoaxes in their respective countries," the minister added.

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Translator: Putu Indah Savitri, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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