Indonesia threatens to block Facebook's WhatsApp over explicit content

The Indonesian government has warned that it will ban popular online messaging platform WhatsApp if it does not take steps to tackle pornographic content.

WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, has been sent three notices by the government, who have stated if a response id not given by Wednesday the app will be banned.

The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology said on Tuesday that it has already been asked by internet companies to block domain names used by Tenor, which provides GIFs used on WhatsApp.

See also: 

Indonesian startup GoJek to mimic Alipay and WeChat with epayment platform

Tencent Holdings launches its WeChat pay service in Malaysia 

Latest issue of Business Review Asia - out now! 

Indonesia is the world’s most populous Muslim country, and it has strict laws agianst pornography. Concerns are growing over the ability of users to access explicit images though third=party GIF providers.

In July, messaging app Telegram received a partial ban because it included chat groups involving Islamic State group supporters. However, upon an agreement with the government in August to make efforts to remove radical content, the ban was lifted.

In Indonesia, pornography and other explicit content are deemed to threaten national unity, and YLKI (Indonesian Consumers Foundation) director Tulus Abadi has stated that concerns are growing over the impact on minors who might ‘inadvertently’ see the content: “This is really not positive for the development of children and teenagers.” As such, Abadi added, “the YLKI is urging the ministry to take measures and stop the spread of pornographic content.”

WhatsApp uses third-party providers to allow users to share gifs. End-to-end encryption also means this cannot be monitored.

This may promote opportunities for other messenger services in the region such as WeChat and Blackberry Messenger which are both popularly used.


Featured Articles

Ex Infosys President Ravi Kumar is the CEO Cognizant needs

Plagued by underperformance and multiple executive exits, Cognizant has replaced its CEO – what will ex Infosys President Ravi Kumar bring to the table?

How India is bucking the global dealmaking downturn

M&A deal volume and value reach record highs in India in 2022, despite slower dealmaking globally – as scope activity and acquisitions in renewables surge

Create C-suite space for the Chief Transformation Officer

Responsible for driving growth and change, the Chief Transformation Officer is the latest addition to the C-suite as business undergoes major change

12 AI predictions for the enterprise in 2023 – Dataiku


Welcome to the new breed of private members' clubs

Leadership & Strategy

Welcome to the New Age of the CISO

Leadership & Strategy