Jakarta, October 30: As Indonesian authorities continue to search for the human remains of 189 people on board the ill-fated Lion Air plane, reckless social media users have added to the woes by spreading fake news and hoax images. Such posts have gone viral on Facebook and Twitter, with a large section of netizens falling prey to the fictitious stories.
The latest fake post to go viral is an image which shows a toddler being rescued by the authorities. The post had been re-shared over 5,000 times till it was last visible on Facebook. This compelled the government to issue a clarification, stating that the infant photographed was rescued in a boat capsizing incident on July 3. Lion Air Flight JT610 From Jakarta to Pangkal Pinang Crashed Into Sea After Take-Off.
Indonesia's disaster mitigation agency spokesman, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho has asked social media users to adopt cautious approach. "For all of us, please don't spread photos of victims and hoaxes. Please be wise," said Sutopo, who is known for busting hoax and flagging fake news on Twitter and Facebook.
Banyak postingan foto di media sosial bahwa ada bayi penumpang pesawat JT-610 yang selamat. Foto bayi ini adalah bayi yang selamat dari tenggelamnya kapal KM Lestari Maju, di Perairan Selayar, pada Selasa 3/7/2018. Jadi info tersebut adalah Hoax. Jangan menyebarkan hoax. pic.twitter.com/SziiS6Uoog
— Sutopo Purwo Nugroho (@Sutopo_PN) October 30, 2018
Rumours and fake news have been concern for the island nation for quite a while. The disaster management body had issued a similar appeal following the earthquake in Lombok in August this year. According to social media experts, the menace could require stern regulation mechanism as Indonesia has one of the largest online audience, with majority of the 260 million-strong population accessing internet.
The Lion Air plane crash was reported on Monday. All 189 people travelling in the aircraft have been confirmed dead by the rescue officials. The operation is underway to find the human remain remains from the sea off Jakarta in which the plane plunged.