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April 5, 2021, 07.06 PM

JAKARTA, - Kompas Research and Development poll Monday, April 5 showed that social media users worry about the presence of virtual police, a newly-established cyber patrol unit to reprimand social media users for posting criminally offensive content.

According to the survey, 34.3 percent of respondents have a preconceived notion of the government wanting to limit free speech on social media. Even though 53.6 percent of respondents have the opposite opinion, the concern of some of these respondents remains homework for the police.

At least there should be a guarantee, respondents said, there will be no restrictions to express an opinion on social media by the virtual police. Otherwise, this will only create uneasiness when interacting through social media, knowing that the police may knock on their door virtually. 

Also readIndonesia to Activate Virtual Police Unit To Educate Public on Cybercrime

More than half of respondents, namely 57.6 percent, stated that they are now more careful in uploading content, such as thoughts, photos, and videos, on social media.

This symptom has two meanings. Either they have a higher level of awareness to upload content that does not contain hate speech, or it is the fear of the new mechanism.

On the other hand, the poll stated the majority of the public agreed with the presence of the virtual police. Around 77.4 percent of respondents said that virtual police duties to carry out surveillance on social media were deemed necessary.

Only 15.2 percent expressed disagreement, while the rest did not answer.

This outcome provided an important narrative amid the debate over the role of virtual police whether they should carry out a supervisory function or not.

Moreover, respondents also thought that virtual police need to collaborate with social media service providers to monitor content on social media. This was said by 70.1 percent of respondents who saw that the relationship between the two was important so that monitoring and prevention efforts could be more effective.

Also readIndonesia Highlights: In-Class Learning May Resume in July, Jokowi Says | Indonesias Virtual Police Unit Begins to Warn Social Media Users | Locally Made GeNose Covid-19 Detector Available at Indones

The virtual police reprimand social media users for posting potential content that could be charged under the Electronic Information and Transactions (ITE) Law. The government argued that the new unit aims to ensure that laws, such as those against hate speech, are applied online as they are in the real world—something that will protect free speech instead of restraining.

The survey by Kompas Research and Development was held on March 23-25 with 509 respondents of social media users.

The number of respondents is determined proportionally according to the population in each province in Indonesia. The survey confidence level was 95 percent with a margin of error of about 4.34 percent.

(Writer: Tsarina Mahawani | Editor: Bayu Galih )


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