Indonesia order Tumblr to remove porn or face block

Tumblr

This week Indonesia became the latest country to impose censorship restrictions on specific websites, most notably Tumblr.

Along with around 500 pornographic websites the most well known that found itself blocked in Indonesia was micro-blogging and social media site Tumblr.

Tumblr is often used to share images and memes and is extremely popular in Indonesia. Being a largely Muslim country pornography is banned in Indonesia and although Tumblr itself is not a porn specific site there are large amounts of content that is adult related in nature.

Wednesday saw the site completely blocked in Indonesia but after pressure from an 11,000 signature petition plus public outcry across other social media websites it appears the Indonesian regulators have stepped back their approach.

Although the Tumblr censorship has been lifted in Indonesia the Government warned the Yahoo owned site that they must block access to all pornographic content for Indonesian users or undoubtedly they will find themselves again censored.

The BBC spoke to Azhar Hasyim of the Indonesia’s Information Ministry who told them that the site was banned before informing Tumblr of any issue. Users across Indonesia reacted angrily to the block claiming that their internet was shrinking.

Leading female Indonesian lifestlye blogger, HoneyBee was outraged at the block saying,

I feel like my internet freedom is being taken one by one because of apparent porn, which I don’t care for.

The porn and Tumblr block is the latest in online censorship moves across Indonesia. Prior to the block social media sites were ordered to remove emjois that depicted homosexual relationships or same-sex couples.

Whatsapp Emoji same-sex

Whatsapp Emojis.

Popular apps such as communications tool Whatsapp has multiple same-sex emjois and while homosexuality in Indonesia is legal, conservative attitudes across the country frequently clash with such freedoms.

Netflix also felt the wrath of Indonesian regulators and found itself blocked at the start of February after claims that much of the content was violent and pornographic going against the morals of the country.

How to access Tumblr and other blocked sites in Indonesia

As more sites become restricted in Indonesia and users are concerned about losing access to their online freedoms many look for ways to circumvent such restrictions.

Indonesian users looking to bypass these blocks or future ones should sign up for a service known as a VPN.

A VPN is a way of encrypting your internet connection either on a desktop or mobile device and tunnelling out to another country from where you can access sites that are blocked within Indonesia.

All technical aspects of a VPN service are taken care of by a simple piece of software for your computer or app for your phone and within just a few clicks you can be connected and browsing the web in a secure manner.

IPVanish Android App 2016

IPVanish Android app.

Due to this you can access any website that is blocked in Indonesia and with the added peace of mind that because the connection is encrypted to military grade that your ISP or the Indonesian government will be unable to determine what sites you are accessing.

As Indonesian web use becomes more restricted it is likely more users will look towards a VPN service to access a free and open internet. Users interested in signing up for a VPN service should take a look at leading providers IPVanish, StrongVPN and ExpressVPN. Alternatively, see our VPN Comparison Guide for a more detailed list of providers.

Christopher Seward

Author: Christopher Seward

After 25 years of using the internet, Christopher launched one of the very first VPN comparison websites in 2013. An expert in the field his reviews, testing and knowledge have helped thousands of users get the correct VPN for their needs.

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