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Islamic based websites using fake 'Google Polling' site to attack Jokowi

Tirto.id - April 3, 2018

Dinda Purnamasari – On April 2, the website muslimbersatu.info published an article titled Polling Google: 86% don't agree with Jokowi for 2nd term.

The article said that according to the results of a survey conducted by Google Polling: 86 percent of respondents stated that they very much disagree with President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo leading the Republic of Indonesia again in 2019-2024.

And it was not just muslimbersatu.info. Similar reports were published by other websites such as gelora.co, b-islam24h.com and portal-islam.id. Like muslimbersatu.info, these three sites also used the phrase "Polling Google" in the title of articles.

Based on a report by the application CrowdTangle, articles on Polling Google: 86% don't agree with Jokowi for 2nd term, which were published by the United Muslim Media (Media Muslim Bersatu), had the potential to go viral because on April 2 at 18:19 hours West Indonesia Time the distribution of the article had risen 8.47 times more than other content on the same page.

The article published by muslimbersatu.info used reports that originated from googlevote.gdn as its principle and only reference source.

The domain .gdn is a generic one. Meaning that websites that use the domain can be setup without a specific aim. This is different for example from the .org domain is used by non-government organisations and .edu which is used for education.

The source of these reports originated from an article titled Is it fitting that Joko Widodo leads for a second term, do you agree or not? Quick poll results here.

In the article, which was published on March 28, the public and or readers were asked to vote on whether or not Widodo was fit to lead Indonesia for a second term.

As of April 3 at 13:22 hours West Indonesia Time, a total of 57,046 votes were recorded with 86 percent disagreeing and 14 percent agreeing. The poll was closed on April 20.

Based on research into the admin profile of the googlevote.gdn portal, it was found that they had 40 blogs, including among others, googlepolling.gdn, facebooksurvey.gdn, rakyatmerdeka.gdn and koranlampuhijau.blogspot.com.

In addition to this, based on whois.com, it can be seen that the owner of the account www.googlevote.gdn is Google Media Polling whose address is Pasir Panjang Road in Singapore.

Googlevote.gdn is not part of google.com. So it is clear that it has no affiliation with Google and none of the articles published reflect the results of a Google survey. In other words Google did not conduct the poll.

By using the phrase "Polling Google" in the title, when Google has never carried out such a survey, muslimbersatu.info is clearly using an erroneous source and the article can be categorised as fake news.

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the article was Berita Palsu Polling Google Soal Kepemimpinan Jokowi.]

Source: https://tirto.id/berita-palsu-polling-google-soal-kepemimpinan-jokowi-cHah.

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