JAKARTA—Hailing the censorship of around one million adult websites as a victory in the war for Indonesia’s sexual soul, Communication and Information Minister Tifatul Sembiring said the country is not finished blocking porn sites from being accessed in the country.
“We’ve blocked more than 983,000 porn sites. We will keep doing it,” said Tifatul Monday during a seminar titled “Healthy and Safe Use of the Internet,” being held at Pullman Hotel in Jakarta. The seminar was being held in advance of International Safe Internet Day, which is this Friday.
Since the start of its campaign to improve the morals of the Indonesia people by attempting to keep unwanted content from reaching them, Indonesia has not only followed through on its promise to censor the internet—which Tifatul admits “will not work if the people’s ethics in using the internet are low and people prefer to look for porn sites”—but it also expressed its public displeasure in 2010 when adult star Tera Patrick traveled to the island nation to shoot a mainstream horror movie.
But the country has also sent some contradictory messages about the success of the anti-porn crusade in terms of the number of porn sites it has closed. In August 2010, for instance, AVN reported on a claim by the Indonesian government that it had blocked 4 million porn sites.
"We can't automatically block 100 percent,” said the very same Titaful at the time. “It's a step-by-step approach and it will be blocked bit by bit. But I believe we've hit 80 percent since the top porn websites have been blocked.”
According to Titaful’s remarks Monday, however, the number of sites that have reportedly been blocked is just over 983,000, a far cry from 4 million but still a significant number if anything being claimed by the government can be believed at all.
Whatever the actual number turns out to be, Indonesia’s claims ring somewhat hollow in light of the announcement last March by mobile affiliate program SexGoesMobile.com that it is now converting mobile traffic from Indonesia.
“With a population of over 240 million people, Indonesia is a very interesting market for us, as half the population has a mobile phone, "said Christian Kreul, SexGoesMobile’s managing director at the time. “Indonesia is on its way to become the fourth-largest mobile market in the world and in the coming years, the mobile penetration will rise even further."
The company further reported that it had just concluded a 2-week trial with Indonesian traffic and saw a very respectable conversion rate. "The results of the first tests were phenomenal and showed a conversion of about 1:20," said Kreul.
Not bad for a country whose citizens can’t access porn.