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Indonesia may ban all LGBT media, apps and more

Indonesia could ban all LGBT media in the near future.
Photo credit:
Suryo Wibowo / AFP / Getty Images

Some of Indonesia’s biggest organizations held a summit to discuss the fate of hook-up apps and LGBT-themed websites on Wednesday..

The closed-door summit according to Buzz Feed News was held at The Ministry of Communications, and its purpose was to ask that all LGBT-oriented media be banned. 

This means that hook-up sites such as Grindr and Hornet along with 80 other apps would go forever-dark.

After the meeting Aidil Chendramata, director of information security for the Ministry of Communications told Buzz Feed, “The participants of the meeting all agree to block websites promoting LGBT.”

Those participants included representatives from the Ministry of Human Development, the National Police, and the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

Chenddramata feels that most of the content on those apps and websites lead toward pornography and have, “violated the law on pornography and the law on child protection.”

The Ministry of Communication has been wanting to ban gay “propaganda” since March and the Constitutional Court would like to pen a petition that would make homosexuality illegal entirely. 

The summit was originally supposed to only address the blocking of Grindr and 17 other gay apps they believe were used in a prostitution ring.

However, the meeting blossomed into a full-blown investigation into other apps that the Ministry of Communications deemed to be “promoting LGBT."

“We would be pleased if the communication ministry blocked [gay apps] without hesitation because the smell of pornography is so strong on them, such as exhibiting nudity,” said Ericson Siregar, an officer with the National Police Criminal Investigations Department.

Censorship and discrimination against LGBT media may only be the starting point for other types of initiatives against US-based social media companies.

The country is home to 250 million people; the fourth largest population in the world. Social media companies such as Twitter, Facebook and Google have laid their claims in the country's business sector.

The Communication and Information Technology Ministry hinted last April that US tech companies would soon be required to incorporate themselves and pay taxes.

As for banning LGBT information technologies, one anonymous representative from a global internet company told Buzz Feed the topic is easy pickings for conservatives. 

“We should all be concerned when we see these kinds of decisions being made, to ban an entire category of apps,” said the representative.

They add: “It’s easy to see them starting with gay apps, and then finding a way to censor other parts of the internet… It’s easy to see them banning anything that represents the US or American values, as they see it. That’s what we are afraid of.”