The rise of disinformation in cyberspace has negative consequences for people who rely on social media to obtain information and has the potential to worsen political polarization in Indonesia. Fahmi Ismail is a software developer who is determined to buck that trend and develop the Drone Emprit application.
In early 2019, when the presidential election took place in Indonesia, netizens were shocked by the hoax “7 Containers,” which claimed that there were seven containers containing ballot papers that had been voted on and smuggled through Tanjung Priok.
Drone Emprit then succeeded in tracing the origins of the hoax and identifying its amplification among netizens.
Ismail Fahmi. (Private photo)
Starting from his postdoctoral studies at Groningen University, Netherlands, in 2010, Fahmi Ismail developed the first prototype of the application which later became Drone Emprit. This app is not a drone or unmanned aircraft, but a computer application.
The following is Fahmi’s explanation.
“Drone Emprit is a tool for monitoring netizen conversations on social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and now also TikTok, and also monitors news on online media based on keywords, names of figures, names of events. We collect conversations and then we analyze them. “From the results of the analysis, we can find out, for example, who started it, what the big issue is, when it started trending, then in which areas, and analysis such as sentiment, what the public sentiment is, whether they are positive or negative about an event.”
With Drone Emprit, Fahmi aims to enlighten the public about what really happens in online media.
Fahmi explained again, “Drone Emprit is specifically for publishing (issues) related to the public interest, government issues, for example related to hoaxes, related to disinformation, narrative war maps during or before the regional elections, during the presidential election, issues- I monitor public issues that are important for the public to know. The aim is to let the public know, when there is news that is popular, who made it, and is this information true, how is it spread, so that hopefully the public is not easily influenced and if there are people who try to manipulate public opinion we can expose it too , this is who the account is, from which cluster or group did the manipulation of public opinion.
The Drone Emprit initiative is a significant breakthrough in mitigating disinformation in Indonesia, even though the phenomenon of hoaxes and fake news, aka fake news, will continue to exist.
Merlyna Lim, Ph.D., Research Chair and Professor, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Kanada.
Apart from the initiatives of figures like Fahmi and other fact checkers, influencers or influential figures should also play an active role.
This was stated by a social media observer and researcher, especially in Indonesia, Merlyna Lim from the School of Journalism and Communications at Carleton University, Canada.
“We must continue to be vigilant and especially for figures, intellectuals, researchers, journalists, figures who know that they have followers, for example, to be heard. “I feel that these people really have a moral responsibility not to strengthen polarization and conflict between communities,” he explained.
Ahead of the 2024 presidential election, Fahmi Ismail is ready to increase tracking with Drone Emprit, as well as working with fact checkers to minimize the scourge of disinformation in Indonesian society. (hour/rd)