Government flip flops, cancels ban on Tumblr less the 12-hours after announcement

Great news for freedom of information! After the sad announcement yesterday afternoon that the government had decided to ban Tumblr yesterday due to “pornographic content”, the government has already flip-flopped and decided to allow us access to the popular microblogging site after all, though with one important caveat.

“We’re not blocking Tumbler, but we’re going to immediately communicate with them to get them to close access to pornography within their site,” said Ismail Cawidu, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (Kemenkominfo) spokesman, as quoted by Detik yesterday.

Although it was not confirmed by the ministry, Detik believes that Kemenkominfo cancelled the block due to widespread outcry from Tumblr users and netizens over the move.

It looks like Tumblr isn’t the only popular online service that the government is pushing to self-censor themselves in Indonesia. Yesterday, representative of Twitter, Line, and Blackberry all announced their commitment to combat pornographic content with filters specifically tailored to Indonesia, in accordance to the country’s laws and values.

This is of course not the first time in recent times the government flip-flopped on banning a popular service. In December, the Transportation Ministry banned motorcycle taxi hailing apps like Go-Jek and Grab Bike, only to backpedal several hours later due to a public outcry.

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