Indonesian gov’t temporarily blocks certain features on social media to limit spread of hoaxes

Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Wiranto said the Indonesian government has blocked access to social media platforms in certain areas of the country on Wednesday. Photo: Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal and Security Affairs.
Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Wiranto said the Indonesian government has blocked access to social media platforms in certain areas of the country on Wednesday. Photo: Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal and Security Affairs.

Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Wiranto said the Indonesian government has blocked access to social media platforms in certain areas of the country in order to limit the spread of fake news while tensions are high amid ongoing protests in the capital city of Jakarta over the results of the presidential election.

“For the time being, to avoid any further provocation and [spread of] fake news, we will limit access on social media … we will deactivate certain features,” Wiranto said at a press conference in Jakarta.

Appearing in a press conference alongside Wiranto, Communications Minister Rudiantara explained users “will experience lag on Whatsapp if you upload videos and photos,” which explain why the hashtags #InstagramDown and #WhatsappDown are currently trending on Twitter.

Wiranto said authorities have concluded that there is a deliberate effort to create chaos by framing security forces and building up antipathy against the legitimate government.

Fake news about Chinese soldiers secretly pretending to be police officers and attacking protesters inside of mosques have been rife on social media since the riots broke out last night.

Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said that at least six people have died and more than 200 injured during last night’s rioting.

For updates on today’s unrest in Jakarta and which areas you should avoid, follow our live-tweet here.

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