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Guidelines for Cyber Media

Freedom of opinion, freedom of expression, and freedom of the press are human rights protected by Pancasila, the 1945 Constitution, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations. The existence of cyber media in Indonesia is also part of the freedom of opinion, freedom of expression, and freedom of the press. 

Cyber media has special characteristics that require guidelines to ensure its management is carried out professionally, fulfilling its functions, rights, and obligations according to Law No. 40 of 1999 on the Press and the Journalistic Code of Ethics. 

Therefore, the Press Council, together with press organizations, cyber media managers, and the public, have drafted the following Cyber Media Reporting Guidelines:

1. Scope

  1. Cyber Media refers to all forms of media using the internet that engage in journalistic activities, and meet the requirements of the Press Law and Press Company Standards set by the Press Council.
  2. User-Generated Content refers to any content created and/or published by cyber media users, including articles, images, comments, audio, video, and various forms of uploads attached to cyber media, such as blogs, forums, reader or viewer comments, and other forms.

2. News Verification and Balance

  1. In principle, every news item must be verified. 
  2. News that can harm other parties requires verification in the same news to meet accuracy and balance principles.
  3. Exceptions to point (a) above are allowed, provided:
  1. The news is of urgent public interest;
  2. The primary source of the news is clearly identified, credible, and competent;
  3. The subject of the news to be confirmed is unknown and/or cannot be interviewed;
  4. The media provides an explanation to readers that the news still requires further verification, which will be attempted as soon as possible. This explanation should be placed at the end of the same news, in parentheses, and italicized.

d. After publishing news according to point (c), the media must continue efforts to verify and update the news with the verification results, including a link to the unverified news.

3. User-Generated Content

  1. Cyber media must include terms and conditions regarding User-Generated Content that do not conflict with Law No. 40 of 1999 on the Press and the Journalistic Code of Ethics, clearly and prominently displayed.
  2. Cyber media requires every user to register for membership and login to publish any form of User-Generated Content. The log-in terms will be further regulated.
  3. In this registration, cyber media requires users to agree in writing that User-Generated Content they publish:
  1. Does not contain false, defamatory, sadistic, or obscene content;
  2. Does not contain content that incites prejudice and hatred related to ethnicity, religion, race, and inter-group (SARA), and promotes violence;
  3. Does not contain discriminatory content based on gender and language differences, and does not degrade the dignity of the weak, poor, sick, mentally, or physically disabled.

d. Cyber media has the absolute authority to edit or delete User-Generated Content that violates point (c).

e. Cyber media must provide a mechanism for reporting User-Generated Content deemed to violate point (c). This mechanism should be easily accessible to users.

f. Cyber media must edit, delete, and take corrective action on any User-Generated Content reported to violate point (c) as soon as possible, no later than 2 x 24 hours after the complaint is received.

g. Cyber media that meets the provisions in points (a), (b), (c), and (f) is not responsible for issues arising from publishing content that violates point (c).

h. Cyber media is responsible for User-Generated Content reported if no corrective action is taken after the time limit specified in point (f).

4. Corrections, Clarifications, and Right of Reply

  1. Corrections, clarifications, and the right of reply refer to the Press Law, Journalistic Code of Ethics, and the Right of Reply Guidelines set by the Press Council.
  2. Corrections, clarifications, and/or the right of reply must be linked to the corrected, clarified news, or news given the right of reply.
  3. Each correction, clarification, and the right of reply must include the time of publication.
  4. If a news item from a particular cyber media is disseminated by another cyber media, then:
  1. The responsibility of the original cyber media is limited to the news published on its platform or media under its technical authority;
  2. Corrections made by one cyber media must also be made by other cyber media quoting the corrected news;
  3. Media disseminating news from a cyber media that does not correct the news as corrected by the original media is fully responsible for all legal consequences of the uncorrected news.

e. According to the Press Law, cyber media that does not provide the right of reply can be subject to criminal fines up to Rp500,000,000 (Five hundred million rupiah).

5. News Retraction

  1. Published news cannot be retracted due to censorship from outside the editorial team, except for issues related to SARA, decency, the future of children, the traumatic experiences of victims, or other special considerations set by the Press Council.
  2. Other cyber media must follow the retraction of news quotes from the original media.
  3. News retraction must be accompanied by the reason for the retraction and announced to the public.

6. Advertising

  1. Cyber media must clearly distinguish between news products and advertisements.
  2. Every news/article/content that is an advertisement and/or paid content must include a label such as “advertorial,” “advertisement,” “ads,” “sponsored,” or other words that indicate the content is an advertisement.

7. Copyright

Cyber media must respect copyright as regulated by applicable laws and regulations.

8. Inclusion of Guidelines

Cyber media must include these Cyber Media Reporting Guidelines prominently and clearly on their platform.

9. Disputes

The final assessment of disputes regarding the implementation of these Cyber Media Reporting Guidelines will be resolved by the Press Council.

Jakarta, February 3, 2012

(These guidelines are signed by the Press Council and the press community in Jakarta, February 3, 2012).