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Indonesia asks Tumblr to censor porn in web crackdown

Government briefly blocks blogging site over adult content before softening its stance

Indonesia blocked Tumblr this week for distributing pornography, as the government continues to crack down on websites and social media platforms over content it deems objectionable. The block was implemented on Wednesday, but Mashable reports that the government softened its stance hours later, saying it has asked Tumblr to "self censor" by blocking access to porn on its site. The Yahoo-owned blogging site was reportedly accessible in Indonesia as of Thursday afternoon.

The move comes after Indonesia ordered messaging apps and social networks to remove all lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender emoji earlier this month, on the grounds that the images would cause "unrest" in the majority-Muslim country. The government has in the past blocked sites like Netflix, Vimeo, and Reddit over violent or pornographic content, and has asked Twitter to implement porn filters for users in the country.

"We must ban the site first, and tell them later."

Azhar Hasyim, e-business director at Indonesia's Information Ministry, tells the BBC that the government banned Tumblr without consulting the company, saying: "We must ban the site first, and tell them later." Citing Indonesian media, the BBC reports that Tumblr was one of nearly 500 sites that were blocked this week.

Tumblr did not immediately respond to a request for comment.