JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia banned the popular video sharing site Vimeo, saying it contains nudity, which officials in the world’s most populous Muslim country consider to be pornographic material.
Information and Communication Minister Tiffatul 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.
He said that his ministry’s found nearly 15,000 videos tagged with words related to nudity and ordered all Indonesia-based Internet service providers to block the New York-based site.
The controversial law, passed in 2008, says pornography includes displays of nudity or nudity-like features, and that all sites in Indonesia are banned from running such materials.
“We hope Vimeo would respond well to our request for stricter content filters for its video materials in Indonesia,” Sembiring said, adding that he has sent a letter to the Vimeo management to exclude explicit content. YouTube has previously agreed to block videos containing such content in Indonesia.
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.
Sembiring says that Vimeo has been added to a list of 119 sites banned for such content.
The ban has sparked a public outcry in Indonesia, with Twitter and Facebook exploding with negative comments. Indonesians count as one of the world’s biggest users of social media.
Founded in 2004, Vimeo.com was the first video sharing site to support high definition, and is widely used by independent musicians and filmmakers to share their works.
Most Muslims in Indonesia, a secular country of more than 240 million people, are moderate, but a small extremist fringe has become more vocal in recent years.