Muslim Cyber Army: a ‘fake news’ operation designed to derail Indonesia’s leader

Source: The Guardian

BY K in Jakarta

Police in Indonesia make arrests as Guardian investigation reveals fake Twitter accounts and violent propaganda

A screengrab from the Muslim Cyber Army Facebook page.
 A screengrab from the Muslim Cyber Army Facebook page. Photograph: Facebook

Police in Indonesia believe they have uncovered a clandestine fake news operation designed to corrupt the political process and destabilise the government.

In a string of arrests across the archipelago in recent weeks, authorities have revealed the inner workings of a self-proclaimed cyber-jihadist network known as the Muslim Cyber Army (MCA).

The network is accused of spreading fake news and hate speech to inflame religious and ethnic schisms; fan paranoia around gay men and lesbians, alleged communists and Chinese people; and spread defamatory content to undermine the president.

Police say the network was orchestrated through a central Whatsapp group called the Family MCA.

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