Ministry of Communication and Information will continuously monitor social media during appeal

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Rudiantara, Minister of Communication and Information (Menkominfo). (photo: kominfo.go.id/Doc.)

IO, Jakarta – Minister of Communication and Information (Menkominfo) Rudiantara has declared that the government will monitor social media accounts ahead of the Constitutional Court (MK) trial, particularly messages which relate to disputes over the 2019 Presidential Election. However, Rudiantara has not confirmed whether there will be restrictions on social media such as the blockage enforced on May 21 and 22.

“We will continue to monitor. We hope there will be no escalation in social media,” Rudiantara said at the Eid gathering in the Widya Chandra area on Wednesday (5/6).

It is widely known that the Government cracked down, limiting access to a number of social media portals after a mass protest on May 22 turned into chaos. Restrictions on social media access were triggered by the proliferation of uploads and downloads of photo and video content on several social media platforms covering events of May 22-25.

Rudiantara reported that during this period, there were around 600 to 700 new URLs every day that willfully spread negative content.

“It’s not just hoaxes. If it is hoaxes, that signifies that news isn’t true. But it is also (content) spread around and intended to arouse conflicts,” said Rudiantara.

The Ministry of Communication and Informatics finally decided to reopen access to social media, to a level as before, after the number of URLs containing negative content decreased significantly on the fourth day, to 300 URLs.

According to Rudiantara, after access to social media returns to normal, the URL containing negative content dropped to around 100 URLs.

The restrictions for access on May 22 not only applied to social media, but also for the WhatsApp instant messaging platform: users could not send picture and video messages during that period.

It is widely known that an appeal over the disputed presidential election to the Constitutional Court was lodged and considered on 21 May, after the announcement of the recapitulation of the results of the 2019 Presidential Election.

The files for the proposed presidential dispute will be registered on June 11, 2019. If the entire process is complete, the judge will hold a discussion on June 14 and the lawsuit will be decided on June 28, 2019.

In accordance with the provisions, handling the dispute over the presidential election at the Constitutional Court is limited to 14 working days. Meanwhile the handling of legislative dispute is limited to 30 working days. (dsy)