Indonesia wants removal of gambling ads from X

By VNA   February 29, 2024 | 07:02 pm PT
Indonesia wants removal of gambling ads from X
Social media platform X's icon on a smart phone. Photo by Pexels
Indonesia's Communications and Information Ministry (Kominfo) on Thursday addressed concerns regarding online gambling advertisements on social media platform X, formerly Twitter.

Speaking at a press conference with representatives from the Singapore office of the platform X, Semuel Abrijani Pangerapan, director-general of informatics application at the ministry, said the ministry wanted to streamline the process of identifying and removing gambling content without manual intervention.

Pangerapan said that they issue a ‘notice to take down’ for such content, but it becomes cumbersome if it repeats. Indonesian authority asked the platform to develop a system for automatic handling.

Concerns among netizens have escalated due to the proliferation of online gambling advertisements on X, involving public figures. This was deemed disruptive, appearing in search results even for users who did not follow accounts promoting online gambling.

According to a recent survey by Populix, 63% of internet users claimed they have been exposed to online gambling ads, with 41% of respondents admitting an interest in visiting online gambling sites after seeing such advertisements. Out of this group, 16% eventually tried online gambling.

In 2023, Kominfo took down 810,785 pieces of content related to online gambling, nearly quadrupling the number removed in 2022.

Kominfo Minister Budi Arie disclosed that stern warnings and ultimatums were issued to various social media platforms, including Meta in October 2023 and X in January 2024. These warnings led to Meta removing 1.65 million online gambling content pieces and 450,000 related advertisements from August to October 2023.

Indonesia's law governing electronic transactions and information prohibits online gambling, imposing severe penalties of up to ten years imprisonment and fines of up to 10 billion Rp (US$645,000) for operators found guilty of operating gambling sites.

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