Indonesia has asked Google to block about 70 LGBT social networking apps from being available to download in the country through the Google Play Store.
The information ministry of the world’s fourth-largest country has tried to block them on its own, but cannot. Google has not yet responded to the request.
Indonesia’s IT Ministry asking Google to block Blued and other LGBT networking apps
Indonesia’s IT Ministry says it has filed a request to Google to block around 70 LGBT social networking apps from being available to download in the country through the Google Play Store.
IT Minister Rudiantara confirmed today that the ministry is unable to block the apps themselves as they are all available under Google’s platform. One of the apps Rudiantara mentioned was Blued, a gay dating and social networking app that claims to have 27 million users worldwide. He also spoke of the ministry’s difficulties containing the app and its website ever since finding out about them in 2016.
“Blued kept moving [domains], they have changed their DNS (domain name system) six times,” he said, as quoted by CNN Indonesia today.
The ministry’s request represents the latest act of discrimination against the minority group by the Indonesian government. This would be the equivalent of them asking Google to block Tinder for perpetuating heterosexual relationships (though the app also supports same-sex relationships), which the ministry has have never done.
Google has not released any statement on the matter.
Members of the LGBT community in Indonesia have faced increasing levels of persecution since a moral panic over gay rights erupted in 2016, with homophobic hysteria perpetuated through hoaxes and legitimized by governmental authorities.
While LGBT and human rights defenders in Indonesia celebrated a small victory in December, when the Constitutional Court rejected a petition that would’ve made homosexual acts (and all forms of consensual sex outside of marriage) illegal, authorities have shown that they don’t need a clear legal basis to arrest homosexuals when they can just twist the country’s ambiguously worded pornography law towards that purpose.
- ‘Now Indonesia Wants to Hide Its Floggings’ (July 2017, 76crimes.com)
- Indonesian Muslim leader urges boycott of pro-LGBT Starbucks (July 2017, 76crimes.com)
- International coalition targets Indonesia’s anti-LGBT abuses (June 2017, 76crimes.com)
- Commentary: Indonesian police fuel anti-LGBT hysteria (June 2017, 76crimes.com)
- LGBT repression grows in Indonesia, with 141 arrests, public caning (May 2017, 76crimes.com)
- Caning law pushes Aceh’s LGBT further underground (December 2015, Aljazeera)
- Indonesia Police Arrest 141 Men Accused of Having Gay Sex Party
(May 22, 2017, New York Times)
- Indonesia keeps persecuting its LGBT citizens (April 2017, 76crimes.com)
- Study: Anti-LGBT bias costs Indonesia up to $12 billion (March 2017, 76crimes.com)
- Indonesian police push anti-LGBT militant Islamic agenda (January 2017, 76crimes.com)
- Indonesia Muslim hardliners break up what they think is gay sex party (November 2016, Reuters)
- Outcry after Indonesian police allow anti-gay raid
- Indonesian president: Police must defend LGBT citizens
- Indonesians push to prohibit gay sex, unmarried sex (August 2016, 76crimes.com)
- Activists to Indonesian leaders: Stifle anti-LGBT officials (February 2016, 76crimes.com)
- Indonesia: Detention, ‘rehab’ for 2 women who hugged (October 2015, 76crimes.com)
- Archive of this blog’s coverage of Indonesia