April 18, 2024

2024 Election: Multiparty Collaboration for Maintaining Trust in Democracy

The information that emerges after the general election (election) is very unlimited and has the potential to give rise to polarization and the spread of disinformation, which can reduce the legitimacy of elections and trust in democracy. There are various issues, such as the Recapitulation Information System (Sirekap) application, which has not been functioning properly, as well as a lot of wrong information after the voting.

“We have to manage various misinformation so that it doesn’t escalate further; then there are matters related to election calculations or the data itself,” said the Executive Director of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Indonesia, Yose Rizal Damuri, in a discussion entitled “Multi-stakeholder Collaboration to Maintain the Integrity of 2024 Election Data” in the Central Jakarta area (28/2).

In the 2024 elections, quite a few civil society coalitions carried out fact-checking efforts regarding the elections. According to the findings of the Fact Check coalition, election disinformation is not only dominated by attacks by supporters but also by hoaxes targeting election management institutions. Another challenge is that the volume of false information is greater than the fact-checking capacity, and unclear information appears sporadically in various regions.

According to the representative of the Coalition Against Election Disinformation, Khoirunnisa Nur Agustyati, this initiative emerged because the 2024 Election regulatory framework was not enough to encourage a democratic digital ecosystem. According to Ninis, this effort aims to strengthen voters’ ability to detect, analyze, and uncover election disinformation.

“There is a gap in information that is not being conveyed to voters or to the public in general, especially in the midst of a very tight competitive situation,” said Khoirunnisa.

Responding to the Sirekap issue, Khoirunnisa hopes that the KPU will be more responsive in responding to this issue. Because of the narrative of election delegitimization on social media due to technical errors, Sirekap has high negative sentiment. He suggested that the KPU needs to build responsive public communication on a regular basis.
“In the future, the KPU needs to open up so that Sirekap can be audited by independent institutions,” he hoped.

Meanwhile, according to the Presidium of the Indonesian Anti-Defamation Society (Mafindo), Loina Wargan-Angin, the emergence of hoaxes follows the dynamics of society. She said that in 2020, there were many hoaxes regarding health, while many hoaxes related to elections began to appear in February 2023 and increased in June 2023. Loina also revealed that hoaxes are experiencing a revolution; if previously there was more misleading content through different titles and content, the content currently developing is more manipulated content through text and video.

“The problem is, when the hoax is in the form of text plus video, verifying the data is difficult. “Imagine that the video was taken from various sources and then combined into one,” he explained.

Based on Mafindo’s findings, from January 2024 until voting day, 347 hoaxes were found, 214 of which were categorized as political hoaxes, and the remaining 150 were election hoaxes. Loina explained that hoax topics raised at the campaign stage were still dominated by claims of support, while issues of fraud and government bias were also increasing, along with the high issue of election delegitimization.

Furthermore, according to Loina, to overcome hoaxes, clarification is needed from the relevant officials or institutions. However, he views that this has not been done well, and there is even a tendency to be silent. In fact, according to him, clarification is very important for debugging and pre-bunking and fact-checking.

“This is indeed hard work, so it requires collaboration and coordination with various multi-stakeholders,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, the initiator of the crowdsourcing platform for the JagaSuara 2024 application, Hadar Gumay, said that voters’ votes need to be protected from being manipulated. According to him, electoral votes must not be changed; according to him, the purity of the votes must be maintained and must not be rigged, even if there is an agreement.

The JagaSura 2024 application has similarities with the KPU’s Sirekap, namely by using C. Results photos as a database. Hadar said that errors in reading Optical Character Recognition OCR in Sirekap are normal; what is not normal is if the error is not detected and remains included in the recapitulation.

“Apart from reading the photos collected both from the public directly and from the KPU, finally we also studied Sirekap, because we were going to compare that,” said Hadar.

Based on the Jaga Suara 2024 team’s analysis, the main problem in Sirekap was a failure in the data entry verification process before publication. According to Hadar, this happened because the Voting Organizing Group (KPPS) officers did not make corrections or were wrong in making corrections, while Sirekap accepted the KPPS data entry as is without re-verifying it.

“The Sirekap system does not have the ability to detect C. Odd results that will force re-verification by the verifier team before publication,” said Hadar.

Hadar further said that the characteristics of Sirekap’s error distribution were random, had a tendency to inflate evenly across all candidate pairs, and did not affect the order of the total votes. According to Hadar, this error did not indicate a tendency to favor certain candidate pairs.

“The characteristics of the error distribution are consistent with OCR reading errors,” concluded the Executive Director of the Network for Democracy and Electoral Integrity (Netgrit). []