Indonesia’s big rematch

Fake news and smear campaigns in lead-up to polls

Indonesia's presidential candidate Joko Widodo speaks during a debate with his opponent Prabowo Subianto (not pictured) in Jakarta, on Feb 17, 2019.
Indonesia's presidential candidate Joko Widodo speaks during a debate with his opponent Prabowo Subianto (not pictured) in Jakarta, on Feb 17, 2019.PHOTO: REUTERS

A group of men gathered and stayed up past midnight at village head Ali Yahir's home in South Sumatra earlier this month, scouring the Internet for hours trying to find evidence of President Joko Widodo saying he would ban prayer calls by mosques if he is re-elected.

They found none.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 17, 2019, with the headline 'Fake news and smear campaigns in lead-up to polls'. Print Edition | Subscribe