Indonesian authorities plan to block social media apps and websites such as Google, Facebook, and WhatsApp in the coming days if they do not register with the country’s Ministry of Communications and Informatics.
The digital behemoths have until Wednesday to complete the licencing registration process. Otherwise, the ministry will declare them illegal and unlawful in the country, according to the Xinhua news agency.
“We have warned all local and foreign tech companies, including online services, sites, and application providers, many times that they have to register if they do not want to risk being blocked. We have given them time since six months ago,” the ministry’s Director General for Information Applications Semuel Abrijani told reporters on Tuesday.
The registration is part of the country’s new regulation, which goes into effect in January 2022 and requires all tech platforms to obtain licences in order to operate. The regulation will allow authorities to order platforms to remove any content deemed illegal, inappropriate, or “disturb public order” within four hours if deemed urgent, and 24 hours otherwise.
The Indonesian government is currently working to reduce misinformation and hoaxes, particularly in the run-up to the country’s general election in 2024.