Meta and Google bow to Indonesia content regs
Tech giants Google and Meta have signed up to Indonesia’s content regulations after the country threatened to ban them if they failed to do so.
The two companies were among the last major platforms that left it to the last minute to agree to new laws that would allow authorities to take down content and tax digital sales.
Platforms that have also agreed to the regulations include social media apps Twitter and TikTok, as well as streaming platforms Netflix and Spotify. Apple, Microsoft and Amazon have registered as well, according to Indonesia’s information ministry.
Despite having six months to agree to the rules, Meta and Google signed up just before the deadline last Wednesday.
The Indonesian authorities had threatened to mark them as illegal if they failed to register with the country’s Ministry of Communications and Informatics.
This would have subsequently blocked the platforms from the 200 million internet users living in Indonesia.
“There will be warnings followed by fines and, lastly, shutdown of services for those who fail to register,” said Samuel Abrijani Pangerapan, director general of informatics application at Indonesia’s information ministry.
The new regulations allow the government to block services if they do not remove content within 24 hours that could potentially “incite unrest” or “disturb public order.” This includes content that supports terrorism or promotes pornography.
It also enables the government to add tax to the sale of digital goods, such as content or virtual items like NFTs.
Indonesia’s Alliance of Independent Journalists warned that the criteria of content that the government claims will “disturb the public” are “flexible and rubbery” and open to abuse.
The group argued, for instance, that the authorities may regard news reporting state sanctioned human rights violations or crimes “disturbing to public order.”
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