Celebrating lies

Kompas – October 5, 2018

From an op-ed piece titled Celebrating lies

Frog under a coconut shell (kodok dalam tempurung) – an Indonesian proverb referring to a frog which lives under a coconut shell and refuses to venture out so they have no knowledge of the outside world but remain happy in their ignorance. Generally used to refer to narrow minded people who have little real knowledge or experience but act as if they know everything.

The Indonesian Anti Slander Society (Mafindo) documented numerous hoax content spread on social media from July to September noting that 230 hoaxes saturated social media over this period.

According to Mafindo 135 or 58.7 percent of these were political hoaxes most of which targeted the presidential candidates incumbent President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and running mate Ma’ruf Amin, who were the target of 36 hoaxes, and rivals former General Prabowo Subianto and Sandiaga Uno with 16 hoaxes.

A breakdown of the type of hoaxes showed that 58.7 percent were political slanders, 7.39 percent were related to religion, 7.39 percent were frauds, 6.69 percent were about traffic and 5.2 percent were on health-related issues.

Mafindo’s data showed that narrated images (50.43 percent) were the most common format while 26.96 percent were literature, 14.78 percent were in the form of videos with narration while only 4.35 percent of the hoaxes were images or photos.

Facebook topped the platform-of-choice to spread the hoaxes with 47.83 percent, Twitter came second with 12.17 percent, followed by Whatsapp and Youtube.