Indonesia threatens WhatsApp with blockage

Indonesia wants WhatsApp messenger to remove obscene GIF images removed or face censure. Semuel Pangerapan, a director general at Indonesia’s communications and informatics ministry, said WhatsApp would be blocked within 48 hours unless the images supplied by third parties were taken off the service.

WhatsApp had responded, asking the government to speak with vendors of the GIFS instead.

“The GIFs appeared in their apps. Why do we have to be the one speaking to the third party?” said Pangerapan.

Indonesia’s Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (Kemkominfo) claimed to have already issued three official warnings to WhatsApp and warned that the service could be blocked “in the near future” if they did not receive an acceptable response from the company by Wednesday (8th November).

Officials at Kemkominfo understood that WhatsApp does not actually host GIFs on their servers and merely acts as a host to allow users to search third party service providers such as Tenor and Giphy. However, the Ministry said that this should not relieve WhatsApp of their responsibilities.

Indonesia has 69 million monthly active Facebook users as of the first quarter of 2014, ranking the country fourth globally after the United States, India and Brazil.


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