Multistakeholder approach in combating hoax and disinformation in the digital age

8 Apr 2019 09:00h - 10:45h

Event report


The session was organised by the Indonesian Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT), the Indonesian Digital Literacy National Movement Siberkreasi and moderated by Mr Christian P.A. Putra (Second Secretary, Permanent Mission of The Republic of Indonesia in Geneva).

Mr Dhia A. Febriansa (Director of Services for Business Entities, Agency of Telecommunication & Information Accessibility, MCIT, Indonesia) provided an overview of the ICT infrastructure in Indonesia, highlighting the national backbone connectivity plan, the Palapa Ring project of connecting the whole country through fibre-optic network and providing connectivity through satellite. Febriansa shared that the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) is being used by the government to connect unconnected remote villages and develop communities by using the Internet. Currently 200 villages are connected to this programme and through USOF, they are also trying to tackle misinformation in rural areas.

Mr Budi Mulia Hasibuan (Chief of Union Telkomsel Indonesia) shared digital literacy initiatives undertaken by his organisation to fight fake news, reiterating that the private sector is actively involved to fight fake news. He spoke about the content filtering approach adopted by his organisation and the process to raise concern of content mistakenly flagged as fake news.

Dr Stephanie Borg Psaila (Interim Director, Diplo Foundation) opined that fake news is a problem today affecting different sections of the society. Despite fake news not being a new phenomena, the use of Internet today is amplifying this phenomena and making it easier to spread fake news. She shared the threat of fake news during the elections and concern of governments on its impact. She also elucidated to the impact of fake news on young adults. Responding to a question on approaches to tackle fake news, Psaila highlighted the importance of understanding the various actors and their roles and co-operation between different stakeholders. She shared the example of the European Council (EC) to combat misinformation and also mentioned initiatives taken by intermediaries such as fact-checking and artificial intelligence (AI). To avoid misinterpretation of rules and definitions, Psaila shared that the best approach is to have precise words in policies and ensure there are proper checks and balances. She also spoke of using examples of existing frameworks.

Ms Rizky Ameliah (Head Digital Litreacy, MCIT Indonesia and Member of Internet Governance Forum Indonesia (ID IGF)) shared that social media is widely used in Indonesia. And a lot of information about political issues and candidates that are widely circulated, are fake. She spoke of the government’s comprehensive strategy to handle negative content, which includes promoting digital literacy to encourage productive use of the Internet, law enforcement blocking illegal content and the appeal process for content take down. Highlighting the multistakeholder approach adopted by the Indonesian government, she highlighted that the emphasis of the digital literacy campaign was to encourage the positive use of the Internet by young adults to counter fake news.

Responding to a question on the relation of Indonesian government with intermediaries on combating fake news, Ameliah shared that their government has memorandum of understanding (MoU) with social media companies in Indonesia to fight fake news.

Ms Ivana Maida (Executive Secretary of National Movement Digital Literacy Siberkreasi) elaborated on the Siberkreasi initiative, which is a voluntary collaboration between the government of Indonesia, civil society, academics, business sectors, communities, and media to promote digital literacy. She spoke of the flagship digital literacy program, its various staging levels. To protect digital natives from misinformation she highlighted the digital parenting initiative for parents.

Responding to a question, she highlighted how the support of MCIT Indonesia Siberkasi has developed a digital literacy curriculum for elementary schools, which would be implemented by the ministry of education.

There were discussions on: initiatives to engage young adults and rural people to combat fake news, protecting rights children online, and the redressal process for content taken down by mistake.


By Amrita Choudhury