The oral culture has been long a part of Indonesian society. It habituates us to disseminate information without any proper validation. This specific aspect could never be gone entirely in the way Indonesian communicate using the social media—which controlled more than 80% of Indonesian’s internet usage rate.
Without having the appropriate literacy skills, it is not surprising that many Indonesians still consume hoaxes or false news. Hoaxes are spreading rapidly, fueled by the desire to be the most up-to-date person, even if it was done without conducting any verification.
This phenomenon worsens when the hoax is amplified fast and continuously by important figures—who are generally believed to be credible. Fake news become more obvious when it involves sensitive issues, especially related to certain identity and beliefs that are often the subject of provocation.
To counteract the spread of hoax, curative measures such as the enactment of the ITE Law and repressive measures in the form of Internet Sehat are not sufficient. Preventive measures through education that encourage independent exploration within clear boundaries are still needed. Socialization regarding the virtuous use of the internet then needs to be emphasized to adolescent, especially because one-third of Indonesia’s population aged between 15-39 years and the count is rising.
The Institute of International Studies (IIS) UGM believes that the youth plays an important role in combating hoax. Thus, IIS UGM organized a one-day workshop, Make Peace Not Hate in Social Media in collaboration with the Center for Digital Society (CfDS) UGM on Saturday (10/13).
The workshop was attended by high school students around the city of Yogyakarta, along with members of the Department Student Association as well as Student Activity Unit in Faculty of Political and Social Sciences UGM. Through the presentation along with discussions guided by Cut Intan (IIS) and Fedryno Geza (CfDS), the participants were then able to understand the form of hoaxes and expressions of hatred. In addition, positive things from the use of social media are also explored so that it can be practiced by youth.
At the end of the event, the enthusiasm was felt by the participants to engage in social media with content that rejected false news and also spread messages of peace.
Writer: Willibrordus Bintang Hartono
Editor: Imas Indra Hapsari