CORE UPJ 2024: Forms of Digital Awareness in Unveiling Disinformation and Identity Wars

On Friday, March 22, 2024, the 2021 cohort of the Communication Science Study Program at Universitas Pembangunan Jaya (UPJ) held a seminar as part of the Communication In The Future (CORE) event series. This event is organized annually by students taking the Event Management course. This year marks the 4th year of the CORE event with the theme "Empowering Urban Synergy for Urban Growth". Not to be missed, the tagline titled "Beyond Boundaries, Take the Opportunities" also enlivened the event.

The pre-event series of CORE 2024 began with a seminar featuring speakers from the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Ukraine, namely Prof. Maksym Yakovlyev, Head of the International Relations Department, Maria Tomak, Head of the Krimea Kyiv-Mohyla Academy Platform, and Alim Alievomak, Deputy Director General of the Ukrainian Institute. The seminar was also moderated by UPJ Communication Science lecturer, Bakti Abdillah Putra S.H.Int., M.Int.Comm. The seminar was attended by students from various cohorts and the atmosphere during the event was quite conducive.

The event started with an opening by the MC and singing the Indonesian national anthem, Indonesia Raya. It was followed by remarks from dra. Clara Evi C. Citraningtyas, M.A., Ph.D., Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Business at UPJ. Her warm remarks invited students to take the opportunity to discuss and ask questions related to the seminar topic, particularly between Ukraine and Indonesia. After the remarks, a traditional dance performance called "Mangghuti Tanduk" from North Sumatra was presented by the Traditional Dance Student Activity Unit (UKM Tari Tradisional) of Universitas Pembangunan Jaya, which certainly captured the audience's attention.

The seminar began with an introduction by the moderator and continued with presentations by Alim Alievomak. He explained that, currently, the digital influence has led to misinformation. The abundance of news information spread that does not match the facts has divided society. Alim explained that there is a myth that Crimea is part of Russia. In fact, Crimea is a territory with a majority Muslim Tatar population surrounded by Russia fighting for its identity. He further emphasized the importance of holding international campaigns to explain the history of Ukraine. Alim highly appreciated the government's efforts to support bloggers and influencers who share content related to history, culture, and language in Ukraine. Even academic courses are also held online.

The second speaker was Maria Tomak. With a background in journalism, Maria experienced firsthand the difficulties that Ukraine and Crimea have not yet gained freedom. She explained that Ukraine is about freedom and the search for identity. Sharing a bit about her experience, not many Ukrainians know about Indonesia. Likewise, Indonesians do not know about the political situation in Ukraine. People live in fear because of the war, so Ukraine is trying to build a strong military to fight Russia. She also emphasized that the Communication Science Study Program can be at the forefront and has the potential for international relations, especially in fostering cooperation. The current phenomenon of international relations is also supported by the increasing number of new media as a means of information dissemination.

Another story about new media was presented by Professor Maksym Yakovlyev as the third speaker, where new media can limit us by framing a media narrative. Professor Maksym gave an example that when we receive emotional information, emotions will take control and limit our capabilities from the world. He explained the danger of new media, one of which is found in deepfakes, which can threaten someone's reputation with a fake image or video, allowing for the manipulation of public opinion. He expressed his concern about the unlimited spread of fake news that harms others. Therefore, there is a need for responsibility for every individual, media, and government regulation in enforcing sanctions and punishments when the use of new media is violated.

The brief presentation of the material led to many participants being enthusiastic to ask questions. Three students asked questions related to the seminar topics held in the UPJ Auditorium. The final message was conveyed by the speakers, that students must be proactive and able to influence society to spread true and factual news. The seminar ended with the presentation of plaques for the speakers and the moderator, accompanied by documentation. Not forgetting, the participants also mentioned the tagline of the CORE UPJ 2024 event. After leaving the auditorium, each participant received a souvenir, and some of them felt their horizons were broadened and committed to being proactive in using social media.

Written by: Gisela Rara Wening Pinasthi (Student of Communication Science Department UPJ) | NIM: 2022041101