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Hoaxes that spread on the internet are increasing in numbers these days; from one account to another, through various platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp. Most of the information revolved around the protest at the State Palace on November 4th 2016. The public, however, are getting more cautious.

The protest -attended by various mass organizations- is triggered by a comment from the Governor of DKI Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (Ahok) which was deemed to be blasphemous. Police investigation is currently underway to determine the case.

The hoaxes that were spread around in social media during the last month stated stated there will be major riots in several location namely the City Hall, National Monument (Monas), Bekasi, Tangerang, etc.

On WhatApp and Facebook, a letter allegedly from the vice commander of Indonesian Police Paramilitary Unit (Brigade Mobil or Brimob) instructing intelligence and security unit to prepare for the protest today.

The Indonesian police have stated in their official Twitter account that the letter is only a hoax. The Public Affairs Division of Indonesian Police account (@DivHumasPolri) also issued a statement that the public should not get provoked by unconfirmed chain messages.

Another hoax post even included a slideshow that was allegedly made by The Chief of Police, Tito Karnavian. The content shows that Tito asked his men to interrogate Amien Rais, politician from the National Mandate Party (PAN) regarding the Jakarta Governor election. The Police have dismissed this hoax as well.

A netizen, @AmbarNingsing stated, “be careful of Hoax news cc@DivHumasPolri.”

Looking at today’s development, we can see that social media users seem to learn from the past. They can differentiate between valid information and a hoax. They also remind their friends to not to trust every information that was spread on social media and chat applications such as WhatsApp.

Margiyono, Telkom Commissioner (@akumegi) wrote, “Beware of hoax!”

@KawanuaProAhok wrote, “Istiqlal is empty. Jakartans should not get provoked by hoax news #nggakikutdemo. (I am not coming to the rally)”

@Joe_Lumelle reminds, “Be careful there’s a lot slanders in social media. Make sure you read news from credible sources.”

The collective effort to prevent the hoax from spreading and to cool the atmosphere during the rally has pushed the netizen to spread messages of peace, posters, and memes instead.

Muhammad Guntur Romli (@GunRomli), an avid Ahok supporter stated, ”I won’t join the rally because when Ahok is getting attacked with Koran Verse Al-Maidah 51 during the Banga Belitung election, Gus Dur neutralise the situation with Koran Verse Al-Hujurat 13. Al Fatihah for Gus Dur.”

@Newsaedong stated, “if you hate the people that has a different religion than yours, then you actually worship the religion not Allah – Gus Dur #nggakikutdemo (I am not coming to the rally).”

@DyahAyu21 stated, “You can demonstrate but please be wise ….#JakartakuDamai (Peaceful Jakarta).”

@asevmuslimovic wrote, ”I’m just going to chill at the back of my home #nggakikutdemo (I am not coming to the rally).”

Some netizens also created a parody hashtag #BakalIkutDemo (I am coming to the rally) that makes it to the Trending Topic to cool off the timeline.

One of them is written by @CicihMel, “#BakalIkutDemo if the one getting demonstrated are those who put “getting fatter” as their caption but they’re as skinny as a rake @bayu_joo @daraprayoga.”

@Oktorairahadi wrote, “#BakalIkutDemo we’ll be attending.” While posting a picture which consisted the list of street hawkers often present during demonstration.

Even though hoaxes are here to stay, especially during major events, we can see that the public has gotten annoyed and has started to reject it. They don’t want to get deceived by false information and spread panic.

This is much like written by @ariston_boy, “We, the people, are smart. We’re not getting provoked by cheap issue #JihadGwKerja (My Jihad is Working).”

Social media is a double-edged sword. It provides information, and at some points it overloaded you with information. Hoax is the residue of this information. Each one of us needs the maturity and literacy to understand, so we won’t spread hoaxes that could lead to panic.

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