Indonesia: Fact-checker targeted by doxing attacks

Liputan6.com journalist Cakrayuni Nuralam has been targeted by doxing attacks following an article in which the newsroom tried to verify connections between a politician with the founder of the Communist Party in West Sumatra - when in fact there was none. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) Indonesia to denounce the online attacks and urge the authorities to investigate this incident.

On September 10, Nuralam published a verification of the claim that Arteria Dahlan, a politician from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) is a grandson of a founder of communist party in West Sumatra, Bachtaroeddin. Dahlan had previously refuted this claim. 

The day following this verification, an Instagram account uploaded photos of Nuralam. Several other Instagram accounts distributed the private information of Nuralam, including his address, phone number, information of the family members. These account holders have also urged followers to attack Nuralam and harass and intimidate him through his social media accounts. Nuralam also reported that he suspected that unknown persons had watched his house.

This is not the first time journalists have been targeted by doxing attacks. In 2018, three journalists were doxed and their private information shared on the Internet. Last year, journalists at several media houses, including Tabloid Jubi in Papua were also subjected to intimidation and doxing. Last month, two fact-checkers for Tempo online faced doxing attacks when they debunked information related with Covid-19.

AJI said: “AJI calls on the police to investigate the doxing incident and bring the perpetrators to justice. In addition to that, the media houses also need to guarantee and protect journalists’ safety and also family members of journalists. It is also important for Indonesian Press Council to resolve this case. AJI also urges all sides to ensure the press freedom.”

The IFJ said: “Nuralam was simply doing his job and verifying disputed information. Doxing is a crime. IFJ calls the authorities to ensure that journalists are able to do their jobs safely and securely and thoroughly investigate any cases of doxing and harassment.”

For further information contact IFJ Asia - Pacific on ifj@ifj-asia.org

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries

Twitter: @ifjasiapacific, on Facebook: IFJAsiaPacific and Instagram