Another one bites the dust.

The Indonesia government has announced a plan to block microblogging and social networking site Tumblr. Why? Because it hosts “explicit content such as pornography as well as material referencing lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) relationships”.

Tumblr

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Based in New York City, Tumblr was founded by David Karp in 2007 before being bought by Yahoo for USD1.1bil in 2013. Avid users of Tumblr would know that the site does not only “host adult content”, but it also has a Q&A feature (ala Reddit) as well as a real-time messaging feature, and is a home to about a million and one GIFs.

Tumblr has been quite a hit with the young, hipster audience because of its diverse and unique content.

Taylor Swift is quite a big fan of Tumblr too as it allows her to share important events in her life with her fans (Swifties). She has even tracked down a fan before via Tumblr and later gave her a surprise at the 57th GRAMMY Awards.

Taylor Swift Jill Tumblr
Source: heldyourpride.tumblr.com/Grammys

But we digress.

Indonesia’s Information Ministry has since sent a statement to Tumblr, saying the website would be blocked in Indonesia until it agreed to remove explicit content. But according to BBC, Indonesia’s Information Ministry e-business director Azhar Hasyim made the decision without consulting Tumblr. “We must ban the site first, and tell them later,” he was quoted as saying.

“If they agree to adjust to our needs, then the site will be reopened in Indonesia, but in the meantime we will block it because of the vulgar content that must be prevented from being shared,” Azhar told The Jakarta Post.

Tumblr Web
Source: fastcompany.com

The decision to block Tumblr was made during a meeting on Tuesday (16th February), where a panel overseeing negative internet content, focusing on pornography, found that 477 sites, including Tumblr, contained pornographic videos featuring heterosexual relationships as well as LGBT couples.

Tumblr has yet to make any official statement regarding the issue.

This latest ban follows the latest crackdown on gay rights in Indonesia. Earler this month, Indonesia ordered messaging apps to remove “gay” emoji and stickers from their apps or face a ban in the country.

Source: engadget.com
Source: engadget.com

Popular instant messaging app Line was the first to face a backlash for having stickers with “homosexual themes”. Line has since removed all LGBT-related stickers from its local store after complaints from Indonesian users. The company also posted up an official statement on its Facebook page to apologise for making its users “uncomfortable” and promised to ensure that it will not happen again.

Prior to that, the largest telecom in Indonesia, the state-owned PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia Tbk., known as Telkom, started blocking Netflix in the country. One of the objections was that Netflix’s content may be too violent or “adult” (Netflix has LBGT content) to meet the country’s censorship standards.

Source: youtube.com/watch?v=nADC6cxJon8
Source: youtube.com/watch?v=nADC6cxJon8

Technically, homosexuality isn’t illegal in Indonesia (outside of the Aceh province), but it’s still a taboo subject in the socially conservative Muslim-majority country.

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In October last year, the Aceh province in Indonesia enforced strict laws against homosexuality that punishes gay sex by public caning (100 strokes of the cane) and subjects even non-Muslims and foreigners to the region’s strict interpretation of Islamic sharia law.

Sources: The Jakarta Postengadget, BBC.

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Lainey
Eats, sleeps, & breathes music, but drinks mostly coffee & okay, some wine - sometimes, a little too much. A little too obsessed with the number seven, is deathly afraid of horror movies, believes that she writes better than she speaks, & currently feeling a little strange writing a profile about herself.