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Politics

Fake news charges emotionally driven Jakarta election

Anti-Islam conspiracies, Chinese invasion fears spread online in Indonesia

People use handprints as signatures for the Jakarta Anti-Hoax Movement, a community group launched in the Indonesian capital on Jan. 8 to tackle the spread of fake news. (Photo by Wataru Suzuki)

JAKARTA -- "Could these be Chinese troops brought to Jakarta to defend Ahok?" an Indonesian kindergarten teacher posted on her Facebook wall in October last year along with a photo of several Chinese-looking men clad in military uniform.

Ahok is the nickname of Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, the first Christian governor that Jakarta -- the capital of the world's most populous Muslim nation -- has seen since the 1960s. He is the first of Chinese ethnicity. He had been the deputy governor, but rose to the top job after his predecessor, Joko Widodo, became president.

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