Indonesia 🇮🇩 is a Southeast Asian archipelago country whose majority practices Islam, and to an extent, Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism, the latter being prevalent in Bali.

General censorship[]

  • Communist propaganda and symbols is strictly forbidden in Indonesia as back in 30 September 1965, the PKI (Communist Party of Indonesia) staged a bloody treason against the moderate arm of the military (which seeks to stop further conflict against neighboring countries after the Dutch departed fully from Indonesia) at the time, after sowing discord and witch-hunts against the more religious political parties (which follows the moderates) and aiming to support further military operation against Western-controlled neighboring powers (which was dropped following the transfer-of-power after the 1965 conflict). After 1998 it somewhat loosened, but from 2014 onwards the ban was back in full-force after an increase of underground movements and activists promoting socialism and communism in a positive light.
  • Ever since a law criminalizing pornography was passed in 2008, pornography in public, along with public indecency, has been banned under threat of imprisonment for offenders.
  • Mockery of religion, which constitutes as blasphemy, is also banned under threat of imprisonment as well. In 2017, the then-Governor of Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, while running for his second term was jailed for a year following his failed reelection due to "blasphemous acts" supposedly for disparaging a religion in his political rally speech. Sharia law applies in Aceh.

Anything that is religiously prejudicial is also forbidden.

Book censorship[]

  • The Fugitive (Perburuan) (1950) - this novel by Pramoedya Ananta Toer was banned in Indonesia in 1950, for containing "subversive" material, including an attempt to promote Marxist–Leninist thought and other Communist theories. As of 2006, the ban is still in effect.
  • From 1967 to 1999-2001, all Chinese literature was banned under Presidential Instruction No. 14/1967 (Inpress No. 14/1967) on Chinese Religion, Beliefs, and Traditions effectively banned any Chinese literature in Indonesia, including the prohibition of Chinese characters. The ban was lifted during Abdurrahman Wahid's presidency.
  • The Satanic Verses - this novel by Salman Rushdie was banned for blasphemy against Islam.
  • Interest - this novel by Kevin Gaughen was banned by the government of Indonesia for subversive and/or anti-government themes.

Internet censorship[]

Due to the Indonesian government being conservative since the 2000s and 2010s, sites with potentially NSFW content (nudity and pornography) are banned.

  • Vimeo
  • Danbooru
  • Tumblr - banned in early 2018, but later unbanned after Tumblr bans NSFW content.
  • FanFiction.Net - deemed to be "abusive".
  • Newgrounds - banned since 2010 due to the total freedom and lack of filtering of offensive and NSFW content.
  • Netflix was initially banned on Telkom for carrying alleged family-unfriendly shows, different censorship standards, shows that promote what the Indonesian government deems as "unhealthy lifestyle" (that is, LGBT or pedophilia). However, the ban on Netflix has been lifted since 7 July 2020, as confirmed by the Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos.
  • Reddit - banned since 2016 due to several NSFW, misinformation and malicious content.
  • Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - banned since at least 2016, for unknown reasons.
  • Due to a policy requiring publishers and website owners to register websites that provide e-mail, social media, search engine, and paid products and services, which took effect on 30 July 2022, several websites, including videogame platforms (such as Yahoo Search Engine, Steam, Paypal, Epic Store, and Origin), were inaccessible for around four to twelve days between that day and 11 August due to those sites being late to register, owing to poor communication of the policy. This ban has since been lifted.
  • The "Visit West Papua!" Honest Government Ad is blocked in Indonesia due to its criticism of human rights in the territory as well as other nations (particularly Australia) supporting Indonesia on the matter, with the video even acknowledging this in the title itself.
  • Twitter - after its rebranding as "X" by Elon Musk, the domain x.com was blocked due to the symbol "X" being associated with pornography[1].

Movie censorship[]

  • Genangan Air Mata - this 1955 drama film was banned in Indonesia as of the death of Roostijati,the film's lead actress and co-director, in 1975.
  • Max Havelaar - this 1976 Dutch drama film was banned in Indonesia in 1976 due to its parallels between the anti-colonial story on which the film was based and the then present-day regime.
  • Balibo - This war film about the Balibo Five (five journalists from Australia who were captured and killed wile reporting on activities before the Indonesian invasion of East Timon), is banned due to depicting Indonesian soldiers killing Australian journalists during the 1975 invasion of East Timor, which contradicts with the Indonesian government's version of the story, stating that the journalists died in a crossfire.
  • Fifty Shades of Grey - This film is banned due to its sexual content. However, Johan Tjasmadi, member of the Lembaga Sensor Film (Indonesia Film Censorship Board), said that the film was registered to the board.
  • Merdeka 17805 - This film is banned for depicting the Japanese as being superior and for apparently disrespectful usage of Indonesia Raya, the national anthem of Indonesia.
  • Schindler's List - This film was banned for being sympathetic to the Jewish cause.
  • True Lies - This film was banned due to controversy focusing on Muslim leaders insulting Islam and portraying themselves as religious extremists.
  • Long Road to Heaven - This film was banned on the island of Bali, as local politicians were worried that the film, which was about the 2002 Bali bombings, might promote hatred and intolerance
  • Noah - This film is banned for contradicting Islamic teachings, according to which, Noah is considered one of the important prophets of Allah.
  • The Year of Living Dangerously - This film was banned for dramatizing the fall of President Sukarno, the rise of President Suharto and the Communist coup which set it in motion in 1965. The ban was lifted after the resignation of Suharto.
  • The Black Road - this film about Aceh was banned for being critical of the Indonesian Government.
  • Tale of Crocodiles - this film about East Timor was banned for its criticism of the Indonesian Government.
  • Passabe - this film about East Timor was banned for criticising the Indonesian Government.
  • Timor Lorosae: The Unseen Massacre - this film about East Timor was banned for its criticism of the Indonesian Government.
  • Strange World - This film was not submitted by Disney to local authorities and its theatrical release was skipped in the country, tantamounting to a ban, due to the subplot regarding Ethan and Daizo's homosexual relationship in the film.

Television censorship[]

Main article: Southeast Asia TV censorship

The Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI) regulate broadcast television content that classifies television programme into several classifications:

  • SU - Semua Umur (English: all ages) – suitable for general audiences over the age of 2 years;
  • P - Prasekolah (English: pre-school) – suitable for pre-school children from ages 2 through 6;
  • A - Anak (English: children) – suitable for children from ages 7 through 12;
  • R - Remaja (English: teenager) – suitable for teens from ages 13 through 17;
  • BO - Bimbingan Orangtua (English: parental control/guidance) – suitable for children or teens with parental control, but this classification does not stand alone and accompanied the P, A and R ratings, become:
    • P-BO – suitable for pre-school children from ages 2 through 6 with guidance of parents
    • A-BO – suitable for children from ages 7 through 12 with guidance of parents
    • R-BO – suitable for teens from ages 13 through 17 with guidance of parents
  • D - Dewasa (English: mature) – suitable for viewers over 18 and older. Programmes with this rating are aired from 10.00 PM to 03.00 AM.

Because of Indonesia's large Islam population (the largest in the world), TV censors have the right to edit out any content deemed offensive according to Islamic law, known as Haram. Films and television series in Indonesia are forbidden to have religiously prejudicial content, excessive offensive language, excessive violence, sexual situations including nudity and references to homosexuality, and animated scenes considered too scary or frightening for children.

  • WWE - both Smackdown and RAW were banned from public access television in 2006, after numerous cases of injuries and a few deaths caused by children emulating the moves of the wrestlers, including any WWE licensed video game and merchandise. Circa 4 years later, it was informally unbanned, but then, no public access television was interested on it anymore.
  • Doraemon (2005 anime) - an episode had a scene where Gian and Suneo watch wrestling with 3D glasses cut by RCTI for the reasons stated above.
  • ALF - unknown, as of the way that the show has the opening intro way early in the episode “Try to Remember” where ALF getting electrocuted turned into an intro due to safety reasons instead of ALF slipped and hit his head on the wall or something.

Video game censorship[]

  • Far Cry 3 - This game was banned because it was deemed harmful to the country's public image as it portrays the inhabitants of the fictional island it is set in as insane. The ban has since been lifted for digital versions of the game.
  • Fight Of Gods - This game was banned for religious reasons. Steam made the game inaccessible and unsearcheable, complying with the local game ministry, before blocking the entire site.
  • Mortal Kombat 11 - This game was banned, although not publicly, for gory violent content and Communist references (referring to the Russian costume DLC). However, the previous Mortal Kombat games and the mobile game are not banned.

External links[]