Indonesia govt lifts temporary ban on social media features

The Indonesian government has ceased the temporary ban on social media which was first put in place to stop fake news and hoaxes from circulating post elections, according to news on CNA. Last week, the government put restrictions in place to stop users from uploading videos and photos on social platforms to tackle unrest caused by post-election count. In a report by Reuters, chief security minister Wiranto said it is an effort to “avoid provocations [and] the spread of fake news through the community”.

The move came after riots ensued post the election count and caused deaths. The Indonesian government imposed restrictions on social platforms such as Whatsapp, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to stop rallies for violent protests as well as spread of hoaxes. Speaking to various media, communications minister Rudiantara had then said the move will help to slow visual content that could inflame emotions. It will be temporary. Residents in Jakarta, Central Java and Bali appear to be impacted, and have taken to social media with hashtags such as #FacebookDown and #WhatsappDown.

Indonesia is said by the news outlet to be Facebook’s third largest market globally with 130 million accounts. In a statement to Marketing Interactive, a Facebook spokeswoman said that it is aware of the ongoing security situation in Jakarta and have been responsive to the government of Indonesia to the best of its ability. “We are committed to maintaining all of our services for people who rely on them to communicate with their loved ones and access vital information,” she added.

Meanwhile, the spokesperson said Facebook said it has taken a number of steps since the protests started to help keep its community safe, including removal of content from Facebook and Instagram that violates its policies. It is also in close contact with the government, law enforcement, its third-party fact-checking partners and other trusted partners on the ground in Indonesia to help it identify potential misinformation and other violating content. Facebook currently has policies against hate speech, extremist content, incitement to violence, and misinformation that could lead to imminent offline harm.

Twitter has declined to comment on the matter when approached by Marketing Interactive.