Indonesia wants gay emojis dropped from messaging, social media apps

Indonesia has asked all social media and messaging platforms to drop emoticons featuring same-sex couples, a government official said Thursday, after popular application Line removed some of its emojis for the local market.

Conservative Indonesian users of Line and competitor Whatsapp have complained about the presence of gay-themed emojis on the applications.

"Line has dropped its LGBT stickers and we have asked other platforms to do the same," said Information Ministry spokesman Ismail Cawidu, using the abbreviation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.

"Social media must respect the culture of the country where they have large numbers of users," he said. 

He did not say what the government would do if the messaging and social networks refused to comply.

Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim-majority country. Homosexuality is not a crime there, but most people have conservative attitudes on sexuality. 

Last month, the country's Science Minister Muhammad Nasir came under fire after saying that "LGBT groups must not be allowed to flourish" on university campuses.

Nasir later said homosexuals should be treated equally as citizens, but that they should be discreet and not make public displays of their affection.

Last update: Thu, 11/02/2016 - 11:11

More from Science & Tech

Mars lander may have "exploded on impact," European Space Agency says

The European Space Agency's Schiaparelli Mars lander may have "exploded on impact" after a failed descent to the...

Mars orbiter a success, but fate of lander uncertain after touchdown

The orbiter in a joint European and Russian mission to Mars has been a complete success, but it is not known if the...

Mars spacecraft in orbit but no clear signal from lander

A joint European and Russian mission to look for signs of life on Mars has successfully placed a spacecraft into the...

Probe headed to Mars in make-or-break moment for Euro-Russia mission

Seven months after its launch, a multibillion-dollar project to look for traces of life on Mars faced a crucial...

Uber launches 50-cent rickshaw rides in Pakistan

Global taxi-hailing giant Uber has begun offering rides for the equivalent of as little 50 US cents in the eastern...