Nowadays, disinformation has become the common enemy for everyone from any nation. Two years ago, for example, when President Rodrigo Duterte’s image was becoming worse for his human right violation, fake information regarding his action began to captivate the internet. One of the fake news is the rumor of Bill Gates investing20 million USD to Duterte because Bill Gates was impressed with Duterte’s action. Another case is the Cambridge Analytica scandal behind Donald Trump’s presidential campaign that would later snowballed into a discourse of data privacy violation on social media. On the other, people in Africa have the tendency to easily spread any unreliable information on the internet.
Many efforts have been taken to block the waves of disinformation by issuing a lot of regulations and strengthening the literacy. However, the multi-dimentional crisis remains unstoppable and it needs to be contained simultaneously. The people in general are very vulnerable to fake information that is deliberately circulated to manipulate the public. It is caused by the advancement of technology that breeds many new kinds of communication including the social media.
Basically, disinformation can be started by anyone, anywhere, anytime and digital communication only makes it worse. For us, whose backbone is the technological advancement and utilization, the right analytical perspective for the issue is the human factor. In other words, it is more than just some technical matters such as the development of a feature or applications but the human who utilize the technology.
Our experience shows that disinformation is not only related with the practical politics in the level of village and country. It is also related with money motivation, individual claim for success, project claim, and the disfiguration of others people’s image. The perpetrator and victim might also be more than just an individual but also some groups of people, local institution, and international organization.
Village Information System (SID) is an example released by some parties to contain disinformation. Social media still becomes an effective tool to spread hoax. A research conducted by Buzzfeed shows that during the 2016 presidential election in United States, 20 fake information managed to gain more attention than the other 20 more accurate and reliable news. The same phenomenon also occurred in our surounding. Everyone can easily react to fake news simply by hitting the like button or even sharing it without checking the information beforehand. In SID’s case, it also affects the way the village government’s perspective in circulating information. The village government tends to focus on how the speed to replicate an application rather than its basic implementation principle that needs to be adjusted to a certain cultural trend such as the spirit of anti-corruption.
Meanwhile, the reaction made by the decision maker regarding this phenomenon can still be criticized. One of the critics was when the Press Council emphasized that the disinformation is circulated by unofficial media that is unregistered under the law. If the unofficial media remain unchecked, the effort to block disinformation made by the journalist and anyone who apply the principle of journalism will be in vain.
Similar to other information transactions, there are basic differences between the principle of openness (open data) and public information. The open data principle means opening the data as widely as possible while public information sorts out the data to be protected before releasing it to the public. Unfortunately, this difference is often blurred and ignored. As the result, the data and information become unprotected.
As an institution, we are taking the issue of disinformation and data privacy seriously. We began our work by integrating our principal regarding both issue into the work program. Two of them are the development of SID and community media. We are also trying to increase the awareness regarding these issues by organizing a series of discussion and publication. For example, when the Ministry of Informatics issued the regulation of obligatory Sim registration, we question the guarantee that protect the user’s personal information. As it turned out, the policy was revised and the issue of data privacy protection resurfaced while the law to protect the data privacy remained undiscussed by the parliament.