The advancement of technology is affecting all aspects of social activity including
the ease in receiving and disseminating information. However, the ease in receiving
and disseminating information provides an opportunity for some parties to publish fake news or to bully others to create chaos in society.
Spreading fake news and cyber bullying is clearly to be avoided as the speed with which fake news is spread can have wide scale repurcussions. Tackling the circulation of fake news and cyber bullying in the community can be conducted through increasing the awareness of the community regarding the consequences received by the perpetrators who publish fake news and cyber bullying.
Law Number 11 of 2008 as amended by Law Number 19 of 2016 concerning Electronic Information and Transactions (“Law 19/2016”) penalizes a person, who intentionally and without authorization disseminates false and misleading information resulting in consumer loss in electronic transactions,1 to a sentence of up to imprisonment of 6 (six) years and/or a fine of up to Rp 1.000.000.000 (one billion Rupiah).2
With respect to cyber bullying, a perpetrator who intentionally and without authorization sends electronic information and/or electronic records that contain violation threats or intimidation against individuals shall be sentenced to imprisonment of up to 4 (four) years and/or a fine of up to Rp 750.000.000 (seven hundred fifty million Rupiah).3
These are severe penalties aimed at discouraging the abuse of electronic messages and it is desirable that encouraging public awareness regarding the consequences of spreading fake news and cyber bullying is important. This will hopefully deter fake news and cyber bullying with the hope that people use technology more responsibly.
1. Electronic transaction is a legal action conducted with computer, computer network and/or other electronic media; 2. Article 45 A paragraph (1), Law 19/2016; 3. Article 45 B, Law 19/2016.