There is research which argues that the two main forces that shape the world in the 21st century are youth (digital natives) and information and communications technologies (ICTs). These two components have their respective potential and when optimally utilised in concert, they wield the capacity to instigate high paced global socio-economic growth. In addition, ICTs, including the Internet, are also utilised as a key tool in conducting communications within organisations, among organisations, and among relevant stakeholders to improve national public services. In response to this phenomenon, the ICT Ministry of Indonesia has designed a fiber-optic network that covers the entire territory of Indonesia. The ‘Palapa Ring’ (also called Sky Highway) project was formulated to connect all regions in the country with fast Internet networks and aims to flatten Internet data prices in Indonesia. So far, the Palapa Ring covers 2275 kilometers (100%) in the western region, 2995 kilometers (100%) in the middle region, and 94.5% in the eastern region which will be finished in 2019. The Palapa Ring can be used by all Internet providers based in Indonesia and will be subsidised by the government.
However, the rapid development of sophisticated ICTs in the digital age is shadowed by developing discussions on the negative potential of the digital transformation, of news media functioning as a means to spread fake news (disinformation). From rising societal tensions, to the rising number of persecutions, and hate-speech against political minorities, it is not uncommon to witness the the popular buzzwords 'hoax' and 'mis/dis/mal-information' in the headlines around the world. In January 2019, the Ministry of Communication and Informatics of Indonesia stated that there were 175 hoax news stories, and the number increased to 353 in February. The fact was so apprehensive, considering Indonesia poses a large and fast-growing market for mobile technologies.
In order to decrease the number of hoaxes or fake news, digital literacy should be evenly and massively spread throughout the nation, aided by a collaborative multistakeholder approach. Moreoever, laws need to be implemented, digital literacy taught, and clear community guidelines – that prohibit the spread of hoaxes, disinformation, and dangerous content – set. The scopes of digital literacy encompass:
a. protection: personal data protection, cyber security, privacy;
b. fulfilment of rights: freedom of expression, intellectual property, social activism; and
c. empowerment: digital ethics, entrepreneurship, citizen journalism
The government of Indonesia, CSOs, academics, business sectors, communities, and the media have reached an agreement in creating 'Siberkreasi', a collaboration which aims to be an umbrella for the community-based and grass-roots level movement on digital literacy. Currently, more than 100 national level institutions and communities have collaborated and implemented 386 activities with 175 000 active participants. Siberkreasi has a website with free downloadable books, videos, and infographics.
- Christian P.A.Putra, Second Secretary Permanent Mission of The Republic of Indonesia in Geneva
- Dhia A. Febriansa, Director of Services for Business Entities, Agency of Telecommunication & Information Accessibility, MCIT – Indonesia
- Budi Mulia Hasibuan, Chief of Union Telkomsel Indonesia
- Stephanie Borg Psaila, Intern Director Diplo Foundation
- Rizky Ameliah, MCIT Indonesia and Member of Internet Governance Forum Indonesia (ID IGF)
- Ivana Maida, Executive Secretary of National Movement Digital Literacy Siberkreasi
- Representative from ITU
ITU, Room C1, ITU Tower, Geneva