Government requesting Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Netflix, other social media to be blocked in Bali during Nyepi

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Internet service providers (ISPs) in Bali will block social media platforms and streaming services like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Netflix, and other such sites for the 24-hour duration of the Balinese Hindu New Year, Nyepi under request of the government.

The Indonesian Association of Internet Service Providers (APJII) Bali said on Thursday that ISPs will not be switching off broadband connections, but social media sites will go dark.

The social media platforms are just the latest thing to get blocked for the “Balinese Day of Silence”, as it is known, after mobile data also got prohibited for the 24-hour Balinese holiday that kicks off on Saturday, March 17 at 6am and finishes Sunday, March 18 at 6am.

Indonesia’s Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (Kominfo) had already confirmed on Tuesday that cellular providers must switch off mobile data services for the holiday.

APJII Bali Chairman I Gede Yudhatama said the decision follows an appeal from Kominfo, as well as religious leaders, suggesting that a misunderstanding be avoided surrounding the Nyepi day.

“We are in line with the intent and desire of religious leaders’ appeal, that social media be disconnected, but other services can still be used,” Yudhatama told bisnis.com on Thursday.

According to Yudhatama, 53 ISPs in Bali have agreed to implement the decision to block social apps.

Here is the list of social sites to be blocked, as shared with Coconuts Bali by local ISP, PT Universal Broadband:

1. Facebook
2. Twitter
3. Instagram
4. Pinterest
5. Tumblr
6. Flickr
7. Ask FM
8. YouTube
9. Netflix and all streaming site
10. Social Media “Chat” apps (Line, WhatsApp, Path, BBM, Skype, etc.)

That’s not to say you can’t just use a VPN, but hey if you’re in Bali, might as well do as the locals do and take a moment for introspection and enjoy all the peace and quiet!

The Parisada Hindu Dharma Indonesia (PHDI), the country’s leading authority on Hinduism had previously appealed to authorities to block all wifi during Nyepi to prevent people from taking selfies on the holy day. The holiday should be used for self-reflection and meditation, not for selfie-taking, PDHI argued.

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