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Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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Indonesia Bans Vimeo.com Due to Pornographic Content

Indonesia's Ministry of Communications and Information announced that it had banned the video-sharing website, Vimeo.com, due to "pornographic" content.


In a press release held last Monday, the Ministry said it had conducted investigations on the website and have found categories and channels containing pornographic videos. Research had revealed that 7,712 videos were tagged as "Nudie Cutie," 6,915 as "Art of Nakedness" and 1,186 as "Beautiful of Nakedness [sic]."

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The Ministry announced that they have included Vimeo.com in the TRUST+Positif List, a list that contains 119 other pornographic sites that are banned in Indonesia.

The updated list of blocked websites is regularly distributed to local internet service providers (ISP) so they can block access.

However, reports state that some ISPs have yet to block Vimeo as of noon last Monday.

Cyber law expert, Megi Margiyono of the Indonesia Online Advocacy, criticized the Ministry's decision. "Why do only certain ISPs get the ban order? Why not all ISPs?" he told kompas.com. "If it's an order, it should be received by all ISPs."

He says that the Ministry should have just requested Vimeo to block and filter the pornographic contents instead of going so far as to block the whole website.

The ban has also sparked Indonesian Vimeo users' ire, attacking Communications and Information Minister, Tifatul Sembiring, through his twitter account.

One such tweet accused Sembiring of banning the site due to political reasons when it hosted a video containing a legislative candidate from the Islamic Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) that included a dangdut singer performing a sensual dance, Jakarta Globe reports.

Tifatul was the former chairman of the PKS.

Tifatul denied the accusation and then went on by tweeting that the Ministry had sent a letter to Vimeo, hoping that it would accede to their request to block and filter videos with pornographic content in Indonesia. "With YouTube, their response and cooperation have gone smoothly. Hope [Vimeo] will respond well," he adds.

Although Vimeo has not been specific in their response with respect to the ban, they have responded via their Twitter account, announcing that they have received Indonesia's request and are working on it.

Indonesia's Anti-Pornography Act, passed on 2008, states that anyone engaging in pornography or pornoaction is punishable by law. Pornoaction, defined as "actions deemed indecent" includes acts such as but not limited to public displays of affection, women showing their navels or shoulders, and wearing bikinis and swimwear.

Jakarta Globe notes that Tifatur became the subject of controversy earlier this year when he followed a pornographic twitter account by accident.

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