False Claim About Ahok Being Reappointed as Governor of DKI Jakarta: Unraveling the Misinformation

In the world of modern information dissemination, rumors and false claims can spread like wildfire, fueled by the power of social media. One recent example of such misinformation involves Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (BTP), widely known as Ahok, a figure who has never been far from the public’s attention. From his tenure as the Governor of Jakarta to his current role as the President Commissioner of PT Pertamina Persero, Ahok’s name has consistently been associated with both discussions and controversies. Most recently, rumors circulated that he was being reappointed as the Governor of DKI Jakarta, stirring public debates and raising concerns.

The controversy began when a Facebook post by an account named “Ailyn Zoila” shared a video with a duration of 10 minutes and 26 seconds, accompanied by a caption that claimed Ahok had been reappointed as the Governor of DKI Jakarta. The caption was embellished with phrases such as “WARGA DKI SUMRINGAH AHOK DI TETAPKAN JADI GUBERNUR DKI” (Citizens of DKI Rejoice, Ahok is Appointed as Governor of DKI) and “MUSUH-MUSUH JOKOWI BLINGSATAN ANCAM LAKUKAN INI” (Jokowi’s Enemies Beware, Threats Await). The video’s thumbnail featured a photo of President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) appearing to inaugurate an individual dressed in the gubernatorial uniform, suggested to be Ahok, at the Istana Negara (State Palace).

This piece of content rapidly gained traction, amassing 158 likes, 31 comments, and approximately 9.4 thousand views within three days, from August 11 to August 14, 2023. The central claim of the video was that Ahok had been reappointed as the Governor of DKI Jakarta, an assertion that triggered a wave of curiosity and concern among the public. However, the team at Tirto Riset, a fact-checking organization, embarked on a meticulous investigation to ascertain the accuracy of these claims.

Tirto Riset’s investigators commenced their examination by watching the video in its entirety, attempting to extract relevant information and contextual cues. The video commenced with a series of clips, including snippets of Ahok’s statements during his appearance on the show “Mata Najwa.” Armed with this information, Tirto Riset initiated a search on the YouTube platform using the keywords “Mata Najwa: Ahok,” successfully locating the original interview video titled “Mata Najwa: Ahok di Putaran 2 (7),” uploaded by Metro TV on February 22, 2017. This interview occurred shortly after the first round of the Jakarta gubernatorial election in 2017.

The segments of the interview featured Ahok discussing the various contenders for the position of Governor of DKI Jakarta. While the footage displayed support from different parties for Ahok’s candidacy, there was no mention or confirmation of his reappointment as Governor. Following these clips, a narrator continued the video with a scripted narrative. Tirto Riset’s team embarked on another fact-checking journey, tracing the origin and overall context of this narrative using the keywords “Ternyata Ada Yang Gerah Dan Panik Jika Ahok Kembali Jadi Gubernur DKI 2024” (Some Are Anxious and Panicking Over Ahok’s Potential Return as Governor of DKI in 2024). This transcription formed the basis of the video’s introduction.

This pursuit led the investigators to an op-ed article on Seword, published on Saturday, January 8, 2022. The article expressed the author’s wish for Ahok to be reappointed as the Governor of DKI Jakarta and even cited legal grounds that would allow Ahok, as a former inmate, to run for the position once again. Nevertheless, the article was purely an opinion piece and did not substantiate the claim that Ahok had been reappointed.

In their quest for accuracy, Tirto Riset’s team also analyzed the video’s thumbnail image, employing reverse image search techniques via the Yandex platform. Astonishingly, the thumbnail image was an exact match to a photo capturing the inauguration of Anies Baswedan as the Governor of DKI Jakarta by President Jokowi. This original photo was sourced from Times Indonesia and was uploaded on Wednesday, September 15, 2021. It depicted Anies Baswedan being officially inaugurated as the Governor of DKI Jakarta, not Ahok.

In a final attempt to verify the claim, the team conducted a Google search using the keywords “Ahok Ditetapkan Sebagai Gubernur DKI Jakarta” (Ahok Appointed as Governor of DKI Jakarta). Despite their thorough investigation, no credible sources or official information corroborated the assertion. As of Monday, August 14, 2023, according to information from the official Public Information and Documentation Center (PPID) of DKI Jakarta, Heru Budi Hartono remained the Acting Governor of the province.

In conclusion, the cascade of misinformation surrounding Ahok’s alleged reappointment as the Governor of DKI Jakarta is unequivocally false and misleading. The video’s thumbnail image and the narrative within the video itself are manipulated and lack any substantiation. Through rigorous fact-checking and careful investigation, Tirto Riset effectively dismantled this false claim, highlighting the importance of responsible and critical engagement with information in the digital age. As audiences, it’s our collective responsibility to verify information before sharing it and to rely on credible sources to prevent the spread of misinformation.