Jakarta (ANTARA) - Minister of Communication and Informatics (Kominfo), Budi Arie Setiadi, has assured that the anti-hoax task force under his charge is working more intensively ahead of the 2024 General Elections.

The task force has been working more intensively because, amid the political year, the occurrence of hoaxes that could potentially cause polarization and contain sensitive content has risen drastically compared to the previous year, he explained.

"We have an anti-hoax task force at the Kominfo Ministry, and indeed, we are working increasingly diligently considering that our job is to explain to the public which are hoaxes and fake news," he said at his ministry's office here on Thursday.

Setiadi further said that his ministry will continue to adopt a neutral stance in dealing with political hoaxes circulating ahead of the 2024 elections.

He emphasized that all hoaxes that have the potential to divide the nation will be handled, and access to those hoaxes will be cut off.

He stressed that those who spread or create hoaxes that can be said to be capable of causing direct conflict in the community may be subject to legal action.

Earlier on October 27, 2023, Setiadi said that election-related hoaxes have risen almost tenfold in the past 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," he informed at the media center of the ministry in Jakarta.

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

The General Elections are scheduled to be held on February 14, 2024, with around 204.8 million voters expected to cast their ballots.

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Translator: Livia Kristianti, Raka Adji
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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