Indonesia’s official COVID-19 case numbers are now well over 140,000. In Southeast Asia, only the Philippines has more cases. As if this picture were not bleak enough, some epidemiologists have suggested that the true figure may be tenfold, citing low testing rates as the main reason for underreporting.
As Indonesia, the world’s fourth-most populous nation, continues to grapple with a pandemic that its government once believed would never reach its shores, a different kind of “viral” strain is also at work, exacerbating what is already a worrisome situation: disinformation, spread mostly by COVID-19 skeptics in the form of conspiracy theories.
COVID-19 conspiracy theories in Indonesia have three things in common: Firstly, they seek to convince the masses that the virus is a hoax or, if it does exist, that it was engineered for nefarious purposes by the “global elite”.
Log in or
Join New Naratif as a member to continue reading
We are independent, ad-free and pro-democracy. Our operations are member-funded. Membership starts from just US$5/month! Alternatively, write to email@example.com to request a free sponsored membership. As a member, you are supporting fair payment of freelancers, and a movement for democracy and transnational community building in Southeast Asia.