Uploading viral content depicting misbehaving foreigners may be violation of UU ITE, Bali Police chief says

Bali Police Chief Putu Jayan Danu Putra. Photo: Courtesy of Ngurah Rai Airport Police.
Bali Police Chief Putu Jayan Danu Putra. Photo: Courtesy of Ngurah Rai Airport Police.

UPDATE: Bali Police spokesman Stefanus Satake Bayu Setianto clarified today that Chief Putu Jayan Danu Putra was referring to viral photos or videos that clearly contain illegal elements, such as pornography.

Original story follows.

The Bali Police have warned that those responsible for spreading viral videos depicting naughty foreigners on the Island of Gods may face prosecution using the Electronic Information and Transactions Act (UU ITE).

Bali Police Chief Putu Jayan Danu Putra emphasized the importance of adhering to these regulations in a press conference held on Sunday.

“When it comes to the role of society and the act of viral sharing, we will duly process it, as there are provisions within the UU ITE,” he said.

In addition, he underscored the significance of responsible online behavior, urging the public not to haphazardly circulate videos depicting unruly behavior by foreign nationals or tourists in Bali.

“It is not a matter to be taken lightly. The role of the community is to report and take preventive measures against any deviant behavior exhibited by tourists, rather than amplifying it through viral dissemination. If the situation calls for it and it meets the criteria for violation under the UU ITE, we will take appropriate action,” he remarked.

As it stands, online defamation is a crime punishable by up to six years in prison under UU ITE. 

Many, including President Joko Widodo, have criticized UU ITE for containing ambiguously worded articles related to defamation and slander. Critics have long warned that the law has been used as a tool of oppression and to silence genuine criticisms against those in power.

Last November, a high-ranking official stated that online defamation clauses may be eradicated from UU ITE with the passing of the revised Criminal Code (RKUHP), which will come into effect by 2025.

Viral content featuring misbehaving foreigners in Bali, including those who posed naked on a sacred tree to a woman exposing her genitals on the road to crashing a Balinese dance show naked at a temple in Ubud, have often led to their deportation from Indonesia.



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