Understanding the Limits of Freedom of Expression in the Digital Space

Freedom of expression in the digital space can be exercised by anyone as long as it is based on responsibility and ethics. However, it should be realized that in the digital space there are many diverse people with different cultural backgrounds and knowledge.

Freedom of expression that goes beyond borders has the potential to divide unity and violate the law. That was the conversation that surfaced in the webinar with the theme “Caring for Diversity in the National Framework through Digital Literacy”, in Pontianak, West Kalimantan, which was organized by the Ministry of Communication and Information of the Republic of Indonesia together with the National Movement for Digital Literacy (GNLD) Siberkreasi.

The Founder of the Community of Smart Communications, Ahmadi Neja, explained that freedom of expression is one of the basic human rights. Freedom of expression cannot be separated from the freedom to seek, receive, and share information. Freedom of expression is currently widely channeled in the digital space, especially on social media.

“The purpose of expression on social media is to maintain social relations, as self-presentation or self-actualization, and it can also be for entertainment to relieve boredom and boredom,” said Ahmadi.

However, Ahmadi continued, freedom of expression is not without limits. Because, there are things that are prohibited by law in expression, even in the digital space. The things that are prohibited include spreading child pornography, spreading hate speech, inciting the public, or expressing racist and discriminatory to certain groups.

“The digital world is our world today. Let’s fill it and make it a cultured space, a place where we learn and interact, where children grow and develop, as well as a place where we as a nation are present with dignity,” he said.

Editor in Chief of EDUPOS Magazine Cosmas Gunharjo Leksono added that so that freedom of expression does not go too far, it should be accompanied by digital skills so that it is not easy to get caught up in false news or misinformation. Therefore, according to him, any information that is circulated or received must be rechecked for truth. There are many tools to verify the veracity of such information.

“In addition, in filling out content in the digital space, the principle of prioritizing national unity and integrity must be firmly adhered to. Everything must be based on Pancasila. Thanks to Pancasila, Indonesia, which consists of various tribes, races, and religions, has been able to unite until now,” he said.

Regarding diversity in Indonesia, Jakarta State University lecturer and researcher Desi Rahmawati said that literacy in preaching in the digital space must pay attention to eight elements. The eight elements are cultural, cognitive, constructive, communicative, confident, creative, critical, and responsible. All of them are summarized in the realm of digital ethics. “Digital ethics is offered as a guideline for using various digital platforms consciously, responsibly, with integrity, and upholding the virtues of human beings in presenting themselves, then interacting, participating, and collaborating using digital media,” said Desi.

With the presence of the National Digital Literacy Movement program by the Indonesian Ministry of Communication and Information, it is hoped that it can encourage people to use the internet intelligently, positively, creatively, and productively.

This activity is specifically aimed at communities in the Kalimantan region and its surroundings, which not only aim to create Smart Communities, but also help prepare human resources who are superior in using the internet in a positive, critical, and creative way in the industrial era 4.0.

The Indonesian Ministry of Communication and Information together with GNLD Siberkreasi also continues to run the Indonesia Makin Cakap Digital program through digital literacy activities that are tailored to the needs of the community.

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