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15 Feb 2016

Messaging apps pull LGBT stickers in Indonesia after protests

LGBT-related sticker sets on LINE pulled by Indonesia business arm after protests in the country, Whats app asked to do the same with emoticons.

Cute LINE stickers celebrating LGBT relationships with slogans such as "Love is Love" and "Enjoy Gay Life" have been removed from the messaging app's Indonesia online store after protests. The Ministry of Communications hinted that WhatsApp may be next.a

Although it is unclear precisely what form these protests took,  Line Indonesia's head of public relations Teddy Arifianto, told  it was screening its content in order to be sensitive to the perspective of Indonesian culture.

"LINE greatly appreciate all the feedback from its users and stakeholders about its features and our products and we are well aware of how sensitive the LGBT issue is in Indonesia,"

"We are committed to ensuring LINE is an application that everyone can enjoy and use comfortably. At the moment we are trying to coordinate to resolve this issue and withdraw all LGBT stickers from the Indonesian market," Arifianto said.

Users in Indonesia confirmed that stickers were no longer available today (Thursday). It seems that Whatsapp and its same-sex emoticons might be nest.

The head of public relations at the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Ismail Cawidu, asserted that in principle, all social media is obliged to follow the rules, norms and culture of Indonesia.

"We will soon contact WhatsApp to do the same thing (as LINE did)," Cawidu said as quoted by local media Detik.

"The ministry is appreciative of LINE Indonesia for their understanding and discretion in dealing with matters that could potentially cause public unrest, especially the concerns of mothers for their children in terms of the negative influence the circulation of these LGBT stickers could cause," Cawidu said.

Reader's Comments

1. 2016-02-16 01:40  
Once again profit motive triumphs over any commitment to human rights.
2. 2016-02-16 05:36  
Local sensitivities must be observed.

Or suffer the backlash
3. 2016-02-16 20:08  
Shame you have to buy the stickers in the first place!
Comment #4 was deleted by an administrator on 2016-02-17 20:41

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