Cekfakta.com Playbook ID
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Collaboration is critical for a movement’s success. However, it is not an easy feat. Especially when it involves cross-institutional cooperation. It can suddenly take the difficulty level up to a few notches. However, when the people or activists are passionate and committed, all challenges can be overcome.
From the beginning, CekFakta.com is a collaboration that utilizes technology. Therefore, technology is the supporting tool, while the main one is collaboration.
The technology works behind the scene. Therefore, at times its existence should not be made apparent. However, the programmers behind this collaboration work hard every day to help make sure that the program can run smoothly without a glitch. Just like the engine of a car - invisible, no need to be shown around, but always work every time you start a car.
This CekFakta.com collaboration does not only involve a handful of parties. It reaches dozens. Reliable technology is needed to support everyone. And there is one philosophy that becomes the basis of all the technology we employ: the KISS philosophy.
KISS is short for "Keep It Simple, Stupid.” It may sound hilarious, but in fact, almost all reliable and long-lasting IT technology has been applying this principle. The UNIX technology that has been around from the 1960s until today is a prime example. UNIX fundamentally uses the KISS philosophy. Its components were designed to do just one function - but they do it well and are reliable. Long story short, it becomes the foundation of many other systems that are more complex and sophisticated.
Simple does not always mean humble. It also means uncomplicated, which has significant implications. Simple means that not only can it be easily made, but more importantly, easy to maintain and easy to upgrade in the future. When a system is too complex, it is challenging to create without a proper justification. Later on, it will also be harder to improve, especially when the involvement of other parties is needed.
“Stupid” does not mean not brilliant, but rather, not hard. As straightforward as possible. No handsome accessories with minimum functionality. It might look unattractive but easy to understand. Because a system with a KISS philosophy does not try to be a smartypants and know-it-all, it will strive to be a system that is easy to use, easy to maintain, and reliable.
To develop the system technology for CekFakta.com, Mafindo’s IT team discussed its implementation in detail with our group via Telegram. Due to many limitations: the Mafindo IT team had long enforced a WFH (Work From Home) policy, far before the COVID-19 pandemics. Its team personnel is located in many locations in Indonesia. They work with their own working hours, without strict supervision. Instead, they set targets that need to be achieved.
However, CekFakta.com was a priority. That was why in early 2018, we initiated several crunch time sessions - where our teams could work in parallel in a predetermined but short window of time to reach significant results.
Then we chose a hotel in Yogyakarta as the location. And then all team members arrived from different cities, meeting each other for the first time. So, yes, their recruitment process was done remotely. It was pretty unique and still rare in Indonesia. Moreover, they were pretty small in number.
Those who attended were Harry Sufehmi, Gabriel, and Fahmi. Sufehmi was in charge of developing the IT infrastructure that would become the system foundation for CekFakta. Fahmi was tasked to build the "engine" for CekFakta, invisible but crucial to everything.
Meanwhile, Gabriel had to construct "the building" that would be used as the interface for users and visitors and weave everything into an integrated system.
In just one day, the prototype for CekFakta was almost near completion. The team worked until late that night and extended to the following day to review which items were completed and still needed to be done. Thank God the system’s foundation was successfully built. The “crunch time” session was completed and successful. All personnel has gained a good understanding of what they need to develop, including the bigger picture.
In the morning, they just had to divide the remaining tasks to each team member. Afterward, we said goodbye to each other and returned to our homes.
The CekFakta.com system was relatively easy to create since it stood above the “shoulders” of Yudistira, the primary anti-hoax system belonging to Mafindo. Yudistira administered all anti-hoax databases and made them readily accessible by other systems. Not only CekFakta.com but Yudistira is also used by several anti-hoax systems belonging to many corporations and other institutions. In addition, many undergraduate and graduate students use Yudistira to help them conduct research on mis/disinformation since it is easy to connect with the computer system they use. From the beginning, we believe that openness is a critical key in fighting hoaxes. That was why Yudistira was created to improve the flow of information exchange.
In the Mahabharata epoch, Yudistira was the eldest brother of the Pandawa heroes. This character was known for his resilience in delivering the truth. He was portrayed as someone who never lies, however difficult the situation might be. That was why the Yudistira system was created, hoping that it could become the foundation of the deliverance of truth in the fight against mis/disinformation.
There are several technologies used in creating the CekFakta.com system. It uses Nginx (pronounced: “engine X”/en-jin-eks) webserver. This software has been long known for its performance and stability, even when it hosts many visitors. Many thought it was a new software when Nginx has been around since 2004.
For its Application server, the CekFakta system uses PHP -- short for "Hypertext Preprocessor,” this web-based technology was created in 1995. Currently, it is employed by many large institutions such as Wikipedia, Facebook, NY Post, IKEA, etc. Nowadays, PHP is being used by around 80 percent of websites worldwide. It is famous for being powerful yet straightforward and capable of performing multiple critical tasks.
Meanwhile, CekFakta.com’s database is being administered using MySQL software. The software is often overlooked because it is free, unlike its competitors, with billions of Rupiah price tags per copy. MySQL is actually very reliable and, for a long time, has been used by major international-level institutions such as NASA, Facebook, US Navy, BBC, YouTube, Netflix, Citibank, etc. Since its first launch in 1995, MySQL is proven to be a database software capable of handling large amounts of data while delivering high performance.
All of the technology used by CekFakta is Open Source. Their source code/innards can be accessed by the public. The Open Source technology tends to be more secure, the effect of transparency - because it can be viewed by anyone. Therefore, when there are potential security issues, it is easier to spot and thus can be managed sooner. It also tends to be more stable and reliable since it has many users and is frequently tested. Open Source technology is also relatively easier to use.
To run everything, we utilize the Google Cloud Platform. As one of the platforms that are being accessed the most globally, Google understands how to manage an IT infrastructure well. Therefore, we can just use its service and let the Google team take care of all the nooks and crannies of its technical infrastructure details. Running the CekFakta system on the Google Cloud platform means that it runs on one of the world’s most stable and reliable IT platforms.
Thanks to the contribution and collaboration from all parties, the CekFakta.com system has been running since 2018. Since then, it has always been readily available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Based on the collaborative and KISS philosophy, hopefully, the CekFakta system could continue to serve the people of Indonesia well and become a success story for the international audience. (*).
- All system technology uses the KISS philosophy or Keep It Simple, Stupid. This philosophy enables simple technology selection, uncomplicated but reliable, and accelerates the flow of information exchange.
- Mafindo’s team of programmers works remotely in different locations. However, an integrated target and work schedule ensures that the system runs smoothly and effectively.
- The technology that is used is open source because it is transparent and used by many parties collaboratively, per the basic principles of CekFakta.com.