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UNESCO helps Indonesian Youth Build Peace on Social Media

On 14 July 2022, the Indonesian Anti Slander Society (MAFINDO) held the online Grand Final of “Peace-building on Social Media” and “Fact-checking for Peace” competitions. These are  part of the Social Media 4 Peace project, supported by the European Union.

97 people in total participated in the two competitions. “Peace-building on Social Media” was open to the public, while the “Fact-checking for Peace” competition was intended for those who had previously participated in the trainings on “Civil Society Campaigning for Peace on Social Media” and Media and Information Literacy, co-organized by MAFINDO and UNESCO in April 2022.

The trainings coupled with the competitions aim to turn young people into agents of peace on the Internet, so that the Indonesian cyberspace becomes a safer place for all and citizens can responsibly exercise their right to freedom of expression.

The participants, aged 17 to 30, came from 22 provinces in Indonesia, such as Jakarta, Central Java, West Java, Bengkulu, West Nusa Tenggara, Bali, East Java, Southeast Sulawesi, North Sumatra, West Kalimantan, South Sumatra, Banten, South Kalimantan, West Sumatra, Lampung, and Papua.

Revisit the event

In her opening remarks, Ana Lomtadze, Program Specialist for Communication and Information Sector UNESCO Jakarta office spoke about the scale and impact of hate speech and disinformation on exacerbating societal divisions, but encouraged the competition participants to be proactive in combatting the spread of harmful content online. “Young people have the power and creativity to reinvent the use of digital technologies and to change the culture for a safer cyberspace for all,” she said.

Shafiq Pontoh, Presidium of MAFINDO and Program Manager for Social Media 4 Peace, stated that “the active involvement of youth in this project is a proof that there are many people around us who still choose a peaceful narrative instead of hate speech.”

Kevin Y. Gurning a stundent of Cyber and State Chiper Polytechnic, one of fact checks competition winners explained his first ever experience of debunking hoax. “I got a new way and tools to check the facts. Very useful. I’ll share it with my colleague at school and hope my campus will collaborate with Mafindo in the future“.

MAFINDO also invited one of the social media influencers, Clarine Hayes, to attend the event. She is a doctor who is actively involved in public education campaigns on social media regarding health issues and has as well experienced hate speech. “I received many bad comments or hate speechs online on my content, this was my risk. I checked the substance. I wasn’t took it personal by process,” she said.

The competitions involved judges, namely Wahyu Dhyatmika (Director of Tempo and the Secretary General of AMSI), Ika Ningtyas (The Secretary General of AJI), and Hesthi Murthi (UNESCO representatives) for the Fact Check Competition Category. While for Social Media Content, the judges are Yosi Mokalu (Chairman of Siberkreasi and a Content Creator), Ruby Kholifah (The Secretary General of AMAN), Rahmat Saputra (CEO of Seruni Creative Agate International), and Muhammad Habib Hasnan (UNESCO).

In the meantime, internal judges from MAFINDO consists of Aribowo Sasmito (Co Founder and Fact Checker Specialist), Dedy Helsyanto (Senior Fact Checker) and Shafiq Pontoh as the Presidium of MAFINDO and the Program Manager Social Media 4 Peace.

Congratulations to all the winners!

Video Content for General Category
1st winner: Akbar Fernando Ndabug (Bali)
2nd winner: Normadani (South Kalimantan)
3rd winner: Aishanda V. Aanisah (East Java)

Video Content for the Category of Training Participants
1st winner: Alpius Uropmabin (Papua)
2nd winner: Arief Prasetyo (Bengkulu)
3rd winner: Ahsani Sholihah Elfathah (Yogyakarta)

Fact-Check Competition
1st winner: Fiskal Purbawa (Central Java)
2nd winner: Kevin Y. Gurning (Riau)
3rd winner: Wulan Fitra Ramadhani (Central Java)

Social Media 4 Peace is a three-year UNESCO project, funded by the European Union. It aims to strengthen the resilience of societies to potentially harmful content, particularly hate speech and disinformation, while protecting freedom of expression and promoting peacebuilding narratives through social media. Apart from Indonesia, it being implemented in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kenya.


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