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Government may limit social media access again during first election dispute hearing

Jakarta Post - June 13, 2019

Jakarta – The Communications and Information Ministry has informed the public that it might limit access to social media yet again to curb misinformation during the first presidential election dispute hearing at the Constitutional Court on Friday.

The ministry's acting spokesperson, Ferinandus Setu, said the ministry would consider imposing another social media restriction should the public turn agitated during the hearing.

"If the possible glut of misinformation triggers disturbances and imposes areal threat to the country's unity, we will limit access to social media," Ferdinandus said on Thursday as quoted by kompas.com.

He went on to say that the ministry would keep an eye out for the circulation of misinformation on social media in case of escalation.

Meanwhile, losing presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto has urged his supporters to stay away from the Constitutional Court to prevent another postelection riot before the election dispute hearing starts on Friday.

The government slowed down the uploading and downloading of photographs on social media platforms and online messaging apps, such as Whatsapp and Instagram, following the postelection riots that broke out in Central and West Jakarta on May 22.

Minister Rudiantara said the measure was necessary because fake videos and photos had triggered an "emotional response."

He added that taking down the false news instead of limiting access altogether would be ineffective given the tens of millions of social media and WhatsApp users in Indonesia. (rfa)

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/06/13/govt-may-limit-social-media-access-again-during-first-election-dispute-hearing.html