After porn ban, Indonesia considers unblocking Tumblr

It’s not why Tumblr is cleaning up its act, but potentially winning back Indonesia’s 100 million internet users won’t hurt it either.

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After porn ban, Indonesia considers unblocking Tumblr

Tumblr, a light blogging platform known for its creative multimedia content from the US, and once considerably popular in Indonesia, was blocked by Indonesian authorities in March this year because it failed to comply with strict anti-pornography rules. Digital platforms have to strictly police and censor any type of nudity by local law. That’s the reason why video-sharing site Vimeo isn’t available in the country. It allows nudity in an artistic context.

Now that Tumblr announced it would no longer tolerate not-safe-for-work content in any form, Indonesian authorities have said the blogging service might be re-instated.  Unblocking the site could happen in “a matter of hours,” a spokesperson of the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology told local media yesterday.

Since Tumblr was taken on by Oath, the company formerly known as Yahoo, it’s been paying more attention to policing its community. Just recently, the platform came under fire for a child pornography incident and saw its app removed from the iOS app store.

Most interpret Tumblr’s stricter rules against adult content as a move to get back into Apple’s good graces and to confirm with the cultural mainstream in the US which seems to prefer tightly managed online environments.

That it might get unblocked in Indonesia would just be a byproduct, but the chance to woo back some of the country’s more than 100 million internet users won’t hurt either. Tumblr’s traffic now comes overwhelmingly from the US, and the number of visits is flatlining.

Editor: Ben Jiang