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Indonesia Blocks Access to Twitter Following Its Recent Rebranding Due to Alleged Violations of Online Gambling and Pornography Laws

It seems that the aspirations that Elon Musk had for X, the social media platform that was formerly known as Twitter, have faced a major legislative obstacle in Indonesia after the local authorities suspended the website as some of its content was found to violate the country’s online gambling and pornography laws.

The Ministry of Communication and Informatics of Indonesia officially announced that was banned as the domain had been previously used by website platforms that breached the strict laws against unwanted content, such as gambling and pornography.

The decision of the country’s Ministry of Communication and Informatics to ban the popular website means that local residents are currently unable to access the platform. Musk’s X, which operated as Twitter until recently, is reported to have approximately 24 million users among Indonesia’s overall population of 270 million people.

The director general of the ministry’s information and public communication unit, Usman Kansong, revealed that the Indonesian Government had been communicating with the social media website’s officials in order to make the nature of the website clear and solve the recently emerged issues. Mr. Kansong confirmed that representatives of the two parties spoke earlier today, with Twitter’s representatives now expected to send a letter to officially inform the Indonesian competent authorities that will be used by the social media website formerly known as Twitter.

Muslim-Majority’s Nation Does Not Allow Controversial Content to Target Local Customers

The crash of the business magnate and investor’s aspirations came after, at the beginning of the week, Musk officially announced that the social media network known as Twitter will be changing its name and popular bird logo with a white X on a black background as part of a major rebranding of the platform. The rebranding, which has caused some controversy among Twitter’s users, has been announced as the first step toward Musk’s aspirations to transform the popular social media platform into an “everything app” that offers a large variety of services.

According to experts, has been suspended in Indonesia because the platform’s new name had negative connotations. Now, the social media platform will have to demonstrate that its new domain name truly does direct to Twitter.

Indonesia, which is currently the most populous Muslim-majority country on a global scale, already has experience in suspending or threatening to suspend popular websites. Last year, the country’s Government announced that the local authorities were ready to ban a bunch of popular websites, including Facebook, Instagram, Google, Twitter, and Netflix, in case the platforms failed to make a submission to the Ministry of Communication and Informatics detailing the content that is published on their platforms. All of the aforementioned websites managed to avoid the proposed suspension at the time by registering the required content details before the deadline.

As explained by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s cyber policy analyst Gatria Priyandita, the ministry generally blocks websites that are recognized as criminal, offensive or dangerous to social harmony and well-being. These websites may include online gambling products, content violating intellectual property laws, hateful content, false information, or pornographic materials.

 Author: Hannah Wallace

Hannah Wallace has been part of our team since the website was launched. She has a master’s degree in IT.