As soon as the unexpected and glorious news that Netflix had become available in Indonesia (and pretty much the rest of the world) broke last Thursday, there were rumors that the government was going to screw it all up for us by finding some BS reason for censoring the service. And now it looks like those rumors may come to pass.
Members of the Indonesian Censorship Agency (LSF) apparently had a Netflix viewing party last Saturday. And after watching several of the movies available of the streaming service, they decided that nobody else in Indonesia should be able to use it.
“There are some movies that we have forbid from being screened in the cinemas,” said LSF Chairman Ahmad Yani Basuki, as quoted by Tempo. He did not mention which specific movies he was referring to.
Ahmad referred to Law No. 33/2009 on the Movie Industry, which states that movies must obtain a censorship letter from LSF before they can be screened in Indonesia. He said that Netflix had yet to “file a request for censorship.”
“Without the requirement, we will recommend the Communication and Informatics Ministry to block the service,” Ahmad said, adding that the US-based service had also failed to obtain the proper operating licenses.
With all due respect to the Censorship Board (which is not much), we’re pretty sure they’re wildly overstepping their bounds here. Their jurisdiction only extends to films screened in movie theaters. They do not have the power to censor every video that streams over the internet. Otherwise, they would also have to try and ban Youtube, something they know people here would never accept.
But, apparently LSF think they can get away with banning Netflix.
Netflix already has strong parental controls to prevent kids from seeing any objectionable content. This is really about the censorship board and the government saying that adult Indonesian citizens somehow don’t have the intellectual capability to handle controversial ideas as well as people in other countries. It’s insulting and infantilizing and we sincerely hope that our fellow Indonesians will stand up for their right and not allow this to happen anymore. Because we want and deserve our Netflix dammit.