Published On: Tue, May 13th, 2014

Vimeo banned in Indonesia amid claims of pornographic content

The video sharing site, Vimeo, has become the latest online casualty Monday as Indonesia’s Ministry of Communications and Information, Tifatul Sembiring, said the site hosted “pornographic” content.

Public domain photo/ Bergsten

Public domain photo/ Bergsten

Minister Sembiring said in a statement Monday that he made the decision after receiving complaints from the public. He said the site content was against Indonesia’s anti-pornography law.

The ministry said its research had uncovered on the site 7,712 videos tagged as “Nudie Cutie,” another 6,915 as “Art of Nakedness” and 1,186 as “Beautiful of Nakedness [sic],” among others, the Jakarta Globe reported.

Vimeo, in its terms of service, prohibits videos displaying sexually explicit content or pornography, but the New York-based site did not include nudity in its definition of pornography, the ministry said.

This goes against the country’s anti-pornographic laws passed in 2008, which say “nudity or nudity-like features” and human genitals are considered pornographic.

In an editorial in the Globe in response to the ban, the writer states:

While we agree that the nation should fight pornography, especially the distribution of obscene material, banning and censorship will not solve the problem.

In the case of Vimeo, for instance, we can’t assume that mere nudity equals pornography, especially if the former is in the form of art. The ministry should not implement the controversial anti-pornography law blindly and arbitrarily. If the nation wants to prevent people from watching nudity then it should ban most of the websites on the Internet.

Many people who visit Vimeo are looking to learn, enjoy art and seek inspiration to make a good video. Exactly the sort of people the country needs to drive forward our creative economy. The nation will be the loser if people are not allowed to explore their creative side.

The Associated Press reports Vimeo said on its Twitter account, “It seems Vimeo is blocked for some Indonesian users, but it’s on the Indonesian side and we can’t unblock it.” Its video guidelines prohibit sexually explicit material or pornography, but allow artistic and non-sexual nudity.

Vimeo is one of 120 websites banned in Indonesia for this type of content.

Critics of Sembiring were out in force since the announcement Monday, reassuring that the minister will be out of a job soon! The following tweets were posted in the last 12 hours:

“@Vimeo don’t bother with our stupid minister, he doesn’t know about the internet at all”

“@Vimeo thank you, we really appreciate it. We can’t apologize enough for our stupid ministry, but rest assured: he will be kicked out soon.”

map of Indonesia


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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63


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