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ASEAN’s Digital Roadmap for Countering Misinformation

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With the increasing use of the internet and digital technology in the Southeast Asian region, the 43rd ASEAN High-Level Conference (ASEAN KTT) has emerged as a crucial turning point in strengthening cooperation to address the challenges of misinformation, fake news, and disinformation. Deputy Minister of Communication and Informatics Nezar Patria firmly asserts that this collaboration is integral to the ASEAN Digital Masterplan 2025, aligning perfectly with this year’s ASEAN theme, “ASEAN Matters, Epicentrum of Growth.”

His perspective emphasises that the 43rd ASEAN KTT has created substantial momentum within intergovernmental cooperation among ASEAN nations to combat this phenomenon. Initiatives such as the ASEAN Task Force on Fake News and the ASEAN Newsroom have been established as indispensable components of collaborative efforts in the information sector among ASEAN member states. It underscores ASEAN’s strong commitment to addressing its challenges through coordinated efforts.

According to the Deputy Minister of Communication and Informatics (Wamenkominfo), ASEAN member state representatives have seized the opportunity at the 43rd ASEAN KTT to engage in in-depth discussions and share experiences regarding managing government information among ASEAN countries. The central focus of these discussions is on how to address and respond to fake news, hoaxes, and disinformation, which significantly impact political and social stability and the democratisation process in the ASEAN region.

Addressing fake news, hoaxes, and disinformation has been recognised as critical in strengthening democracy throughout the ASEAN region. Given the rapid development of technology and the abundance of information on the internet, there is a need for collective efforts to educate ASEAN citizens, particularly in the context of recognising, addressing, and countering fake news and disinformation, which can influence their perceptions and decision-making.

In this regard, ASEAN member state representatives have emphasised the importance of cross-border collaboration in developing effective strategies to educate the public about better information literacy and providing the necessary tools to combat fake news and disinformation. These discussions represent a positive step in supporting ASEAN citizens in maintaining information integrity, strengthening democracy, and ensuring the stability and development of the ASEAN region.

The ASEAN Chairmanship of Indonesia in 2023 places significant attention on discussing the ASEAN Digital Masterplan during the ASEAN High-Level Conference (ASEAN KTT). Deputy Minister of Communication and Informatics Nezar Patria explains that the ASEAN Digital Masterplan 2025 is the sole initiative highly relevant to this year’s ASEAN theme, “ASEAN Matters, Epicentrum of Growth.” It indicates that digitalisation plays a pivotal role in the development of the ASEAN region and is one of the primary focuses of this high-level meeting.

Wamen Nezar Patria also underscored the increasing importance of the digital economy in the Southeast Asian region year after year. This phenomenon has garnered deep regional attention, primarily due to the significant impacts of digital growth experienced by ASEAN member countries. It reflects ASEAN’s commitment to understanding, regulating, and optimising digital developments to support economic growth and prosperity in the region.

In 2021, the Republic of Indonesia submitted a proposal to develop guidelines to combat fake news and disinformation in the media to the ASEAN Secretariat. During the ASEAN Chairmanship of 2023 this year, Indonesia is actively proposing studies and workshops to refine this proposal by sharing experiences from ASEAN member countries.

It demonstrates Indonesia’s seriousness in addressing the challenges of fake news and disinformation that can affect the stability and integrity of information in the ASEAN region. Thus, this year’s ASEAN KTT highlights digital developments and strives to address related issues through sustainable and collaborative approaches.


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