Indonesia doesn’t want gay themed emojis on messaging apps

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img credit: Advocate
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img credit: Advocate

Emojis have become a complete language of sorts just like the ancient Egyptians famous hieroglyphics. You can have a chat completely in emojis and it would be understood by the other party. This is why the emoji list has grown substantially over time to include more objects and most importantly, people of various races, gender and also sexual orientation.

Now according to a report by the Associated Press, the Indonesian government had issued  a directive to remove emojis that featured same sex couples. A spokesperson from the Indonesian Information and Communication Ministry had given a statement about the matter: “Social media must respect the culture and local wisdom of the country where they have large number of users.””

One network that has heeded the call is Line which removed the LGBT emojis and the spokesperson apparently said that the Indonesian government will tell WhatsApp to follow the same route as Line.

This action by the Indonesian government triggered the Human Rights Watch, an NGO based to issue a letter captured by the publication: “President Jokowi should urgently condemn anti-LGBT remarks by officials before such rhetoric opens the door to more abuses”

We are now in the age of social media use and since it has become a culture of sorts, it has come into direct conflict with the already established culture. We have seen reports of the likes of WhatsApp being banned in Brazil (temporarily of course) due to the conflict with telcos. Such conflicts will only become more over the next couple of years as we seek to integrate social media use much more to our already established culture.

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