Indonesia wants gay emojis dropped from messaging, social media apps

Indonesia has asked all social media and messaging platforms to drop emoticons featuring same-sex couples, a government official said Thursday, after popular application Line removed some of its emojis for the local market.

Conservative Indonesian users of Line and competitor Whatsapp have complained about the presence of gay-themed emojis on the applications.

"Line has dropped its LGBT stickers and we have asked other platforms to do the same," said Information Ministry spokesman Ismail Cawidu, using the abbreviation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.

"Social media must respect the culture of the country where they have large numbers of users," he said. 

He did not say what the government would do if the messaging and social networks refused to comply.

Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim-majority country. Homosexuality is not a crime there, but most people have conservative attitudes on sexuality. 

Last month, the country's Science Minister Muhammad Nasir came under fire after saying that "LGBT groups must not be allowed to flourish" on university campuses.

Nasir later said homosexuals should be treated equally as citizens, but that they should be discreet and not make public displays of their affection.

Last update: Thu, 11/02/2016 - 11:11

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