Social Media in Africa News

Indonesia has introduced curbs on social media in a bid to prevent the spread of hoaxes, some calling for violent post-election attacks, and quell two days of protests in the capital. Fact-checkers say hoaxes and calls for violence on social media networks have spiked since Tuesday when an official election count confirmed President Joko Widodo as the winner, a result contested by his challenger, Prabowo Subianto. Six people have been killed in unrest that gripped parts of Jakarta since Tuesday night. Chief security minister Wiranto said to “avoid provocations, the spread of fake news through the community, we will limit access to certain features on social media”. The move imposes limits on the ability to upload videos or photos on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and its platforms Instagram and Whatsapp. Communications Minister Rudiantara told reporters the restrictions were meant to slow visual content that could inflame “emotions” and would be temporary in Facebook’s third-largest market globally with 130 million accounts. Reuters reviewed half a dozen posts forwarded via the Whatsapp messenger system calling for violence and attacks to protest the election results, as well as shared doctored videos. One called for protesters to attack prominent Jakarta sights by hiding explosives in books, water bottles or walking sticks. Another video widely circulated on social media showed a since disproved siege of a mosque by police. Several versions of the video were captioned saying that the police officers were disguised as “Chinese people” wanting to attack Indonesian worshippers, while…

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