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Indonesian Catholics back anti-hoax campaign

Civil society group seeks to stop provocative and false content being spread on the internet

January 10, 2017

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Catholics in Indonesia have lent their support to an anti-hoax campaign launched to combat false or inflammatory information being spread on the internet.

The Anti-Hoax Society of Indonesia launched the campaign simultaneously in six cities, including Jakarta, on Jan. 8.

Communications and Information Minister Rudiantara as well as a number of other public figures attended the Jakarta launch.

According to campaign organizer Septiaji Eko Nugroho, the spread of false and provocative information via social media or on so-called news websites is increasing.

Such information can lead to social unrest and even has the potential to threaten national security, he said.

Joannes Joko, secretary-general of the Association of Catholic Graduates and Intellectuals in Indonesia, said people need to know the information they see on the internet is verified and accurate.

"The current situation is very dangerous. A lot of false information is circulated," he said. These could include stories to further the interests or agenda of vested political groups or individuals, or stories that could stoke ethnic or religious tensions, he said.

As part of the campaign, organizers are calling on the public to use the internet more wisely and not post or spread information that has not been verified or come from a reputable source.

 

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