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Indonesian government asks Google to block gay dating apps

The latest move comes in a long list of moves to restrict LGBTI content online

Indonesian government asks Google to block gay dating apps
Indonesia's Communications Miniser, Rudiantara, wants Google to block access to 70 LGBTI apps including, Blued. | Photo: Facebook

Indonesia’s Ministry of Communications and Information wants technological giant Google to ask it to block access to about 70 LGBTI apps.

The Ministry asked the company to block access to the apps in the Google Play store.

Rudiantara, the Minister responsible for the request singled out gay social networking app Blued. He asked Google to shut it down.

Blued’s website is blocked in Indonesia after the government banned LGBTI content online. But the government has struggled to close down the website because it keeps shifting its domain name.

‘Blued kept moving [domains], they have changed their DNS (domain name system) six times,’ Rudiantara told CNN Indonesia.

The Chinese owned Blued is the world’s largest gay dating app, with more than 27 million users globally.

LGBTI opression

Indonesia’s move to block LGBTI social networking apps is the latest in a move to oppress the country’s LGBTI communities.

In November last year, the government blocked the use of GIFs on the popular instant messaging service WhatsApp. The Ministry of Communications and Information said it could not monitor GIFs because of WhatsApp’s encryption and GIFs could be used to spread ‘obscene content’.

There have also been multiple raids of ‘gay parties’ where men have been arrested under Indonesia’s anti-pornography laws.

Just last week police in West Java, monitored the activity of five men on gay dating apps before raiding a party in a tourist villa they attended together.

But in December the Indonesian Constitutional Court rejected a petition to make gay and premarital sex punishable by up to five years in prison.

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