The blogging platform Tumblr has been banned in Indonesia due to concerns over its pornographic content. The government has banned 477 other websites in the country.
“I have signed off the letter and sent it to the Internet service provider. These websites should be blocked in the next two or three days”, said Azhar Hasyim, e-business director in Indonesia’s Communication and Information Ministry.
Hasyim said that no consultation with the New York based company owned by Yahoo took place before making the decision. He added, “We must ban the site first, and tell them later.”
The IP addresses of the banned websites have been blocked from appearing in the country before they clear out the contents of these sites, stated UPI. Reportedly, the companies were informed about the decision simultaneously with public so that they could not investigate the matter and correct the issues at once.
Officials have also informed that these websites had violated the country’s information and electronic law which prevents sharing posts containing vulgarity. The most prominent among all these sites are social sharing website Tumblr.
Indonesia is a Muslim majority country and has partly free internet. Arresting bloggers and banning social media sites are not new to the country.
In the past the government of Indonesia banned Facebook, Twitter, Netflix and Vimeo. However, the bans were temporary.
Earlier this month the government also ordered social networking sites to take out emojis representing gay couples. The government also threatened to ban messaging apps that would not remove these emojis.
LINE a messaging app had followed the law and apologized stating, “LINE regrets the incidents of some stickers which are considered sensitive by many people … We ask for your understanding because at the moment we are working on this issue to remove the stickers.”
In the past the country has also asked social media companies to use special filter for pornographic content.
Lately, Pakistan also banned pornographic 400,000 sites in the country in a major crackdown.