Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia’s General Election Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) has predicted that the spread of hoaxes on social media regarding the election will peak in February 2024.

According to Bawaslu member Herwyn J. H. Malonda on Monday, it mirrors what occurred in 2019 during which the spread of hoaxes peaked in April following the voting period.

"This is what we should pay attention to because regarding the issue of negative information, this trend of hoaxes and false news can increase. If we look at 2019, (it) peaked in April 2019 when the campaign ends until approaching the voting period,” Malonda said.

For now, it is not impossible for the hoaxes to increase and peak in late November 2023, during the campaign period, until early February 2024, following the voting period, he stated.

Malonda remarked that based on data from 2019, some 501 hoax issues spread at that time, and it was the peak of the hoax spread during the 2019 Election.

In his opinion, this condition should be anticipated, as it can impact the election, namely the rise and strengthening of polarization among people, the rise of distrust in the election organizer, and then people not believing in the election’s result that leads to violence.

Thus, Bawaslu has taken some preventive measures by conducting media monitoring as well as massively publicizing election information and education, so that hoaxes can be muted by valid news.

"We are also collaborating with related stakeholders, such as the Ministry of Communication and Informatics (Kemenkominfo), social media platforms, media, and content creators, as well as creating a task force to supervise the election with the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI), General Elections Commission of Indonesia (KPU), and the Press Council," he stated.

Earlier, Bawaslu Head Rahmat Bagja had noted that a hoax is a vulnerable variable in the 2024 election and becomes a challenge.

Bagja remarked that from 2018 to 2020, there were 9,814 hoax categories.

Thereafter, based on Bawaslu's supervision, there were 922 hoax issues, out of which 577 cases were found during the period from March to May 2019, the peak of the election.

Moreover, during the Regional Election 2020, through joint efforts by Bawaslu and the Ministry of Communication and Informatics (Kemkominfo), 64 hoax issues were found.

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Translator: Narda M, Azis Kurmala
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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