Indonesian authorities have already asked Facebook to ban LGBT emojis. Now the government has stepped up its anti-LGBT digital crusade by planning to ask Google, Apple, and other companies to remove LGBT smartphone apps from their stores.
Indonesian authorities are moving to block at least three apps: Grindr, Blued and BoyAhoy, a government official confirmed after a request from police, Time Magazine reports. But the ban may stretch farther than that, according to BuzzFeed. They report over 80 websites and apps geared towards LGBT people could be affected.
“We are starting to block LGBT applications,” Communications Ministry spokesperson Noor Iza said to Agence France-Presse, according to TIME.
The discriminatory request reportedly comes after the recent exposure of a pedophile ring supposedly linked to hookup app Grindr.
Human Rights Watch Asia Deputy Director Phil Robertson denounced the government’s actions. “This ban on what Indonesian authorities called ‘LGBT applications’ is discriminatory online censorship, pure and simple, and yet another blow against the rights of LGBT persons in the country,” he told Time.
In a report published August, HRW blamed the rise of Indonesia’ anti-LGBT intolerance on a combination of extremist government officials, militant Islamists and bigoted religious groups.