Jakarta (ANTARA) - Communication and Informatics (Kominfo) Minister Budi Arie Setiadi has said that hoaxes related to the 2024 General Elections have risen by almost tenfold in the last year.

"Throughout 2022, there were only 10 general elections hoaxes, but from January 2023 to October 2023, there were 98 hoax issues on general elections. Meaning that there is an increase of almost 10 times in hoax issues compared to last year," he said at the media center of the Kominfo Ministry here on Friday.

According to him, the increase in hoaxes related to the elections became more significant starting from July 2023 and continued to rise until October.

As per the latest data from the ministry, 3 new hoaxes have been found as of October 27, indicating that the spread of hoaxes related to the elections is rising.

The spread of election-related hoaxes has mostly occurred via social media, especially Facebook.

"Our records show that the spread of hoaxes and disinformation related to the elections is mostly found on the Facebook platform that Meta manages. Currently, we have proposed to Meta to take down 454 items of content," Setiadi said.

Nevertheless, hoaxes related to the elections have also been identified on other social media platforms, such as TikTok, YouTube, SnackVideo, X, and Instagram.

The minister said that one of the hoaxes that his ministry handled said, "Prabowo failed to run for president after the Constitutional Court approved age limit."

"Not only targeting presidential and vice presidential candidates, the hoax and disinformation issues that we found also targeted the reputation of the General Election Commission (KPU) and the election administration to create distrust in the elections," he informed.

He said that hoaxes in Indonesia's cyberspace have led to information disruption, especially when it comes to the elections, which are supposed to be welcomed positively.

He then expressed the hope that the community would be careful about sharing information from social media through text messaging applications. In this way, all parties can participate in preventing the spread of hoaxes, which can reduce the quality of democracy and cause polarization.

"In line with the Peaceful 2024 General Elections narrative, the Kominfo Ministry encourages the 'Beware of Election Hoaxes' campaign to become a reminder for the community to be more careful when they receive and pass on information related to the elections," he said.

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Translator: Livia Kristianti, Raka Adji
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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