Indonesia’s Ministry of Communication and Information banned Vimeo for hosting pornographic content

Indonesia’s Ministry of Communications and Information on Monday announced it had banned video sharing site Vimeo, claiming that it hosted “pornographic” content, causing an outcry among local users.

“We’ve recently received several reports from the public about websites containing negative or pornographic elements… including the site vimeo.com,” the ministry said in a press statement. “From the results of our investigations we’ve found categories or channels containing pornographic videos on vimeo.com.”

The ministry said its research had uncovered the site had 7,712 videos tagged as “Nudie Cutie,” another 6,915 “Art of Nakedness” and 1,186 as “Beauty of Nakedness” videos, among others.

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.

The site, founded in 2004, was the first video sharing site to support high definition, and became widely used by independent musicians and filmmakers for that reason.

Citing Indonesia’s controversial anti-pornography law, passed in 2008, the ministry said pornography included displays of “nudity or nudity-like features” and human genitals, and that all sites allowed in Indonesia were banned from running services offering such materials.

“Based on the aforementioned considerations, we’ve included the site vimeo.com in our TRUST+ Positif List, which currently contains 119 other pornographic sites,” the ministry said.

Updates to the list of blocked sites are distributed continually to local Internet service providers so that they may block access, the ministry said. The latest update was made on Friday.

As of Monday at noon, though, not all Indonesia-based ISPs had blocked Vimeo. Telkom began blocking the site on Sunday, but Telkomsel, Indosat, XL Axiata and First Media had not. But The Indonesian Internet Service Provider Association (APJII) said other ISPs simply had not received the ministry’s latest update.

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