Jakarta (ANTARA) - Deputy Minister of Communication and Informatics Nezar Patria invited Islamic boarding school (pesantren) students, or santris, to utilize the internet wisely, so that activities in the digital space become safe and productive.

"It is important to use the internet healthily, as we realize that our digital space was full of hate speeches during the 2014 and 2019 elections," Patria stated at the 2023 Santri Cultural Parade and Festival in Indramayu, West Java.

In a press release received here on Saturday, the deputy minister noted that santris are expected to anticipate an influx of information ahead of the 2024 General Election.

He also called on the pesantren students to filter and verify information, so that they will not be influenced by hate speeches and polarizing content that do not align with the nation's values.

He remarked that santris are part of the groups that are active in cyberspace, especially during the era of digital transformation.

Hence, he stressed for healthy use of internet among young people, considering that the current santris are largely members of Generation Z and will become first-time voters in next year's election.

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In the 2024 General Election, first-time voters account for 30 percent of the total voter count, he stated, adding that young people, including santris, equipped with digital skills, are urged to be wise in responding to the massive flow of information during the election.

"I think the 2014 and 2019 elections are enough lessons for us to be more wise in using the internet," Patria remarked.

In addition to urging santris to use the internet wisely, he also reminded them to support the peaceful implementation of the election.

He noted that elections should be greeted with joy and not hatred, as the event is the "people's party of democracy" that celebrates the freedom of people to choose their leaders.

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Translator: Livia K, Kenzu
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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