Netflix Indonesia called out for 'inappropriate content' again following ban lift

Netflix has reportedly been called out in Indonesia once again, less than a year after Telkom Indonesia lifted the ban on the streaming platform. According to CNN Indonesia, the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission found that there needs to be more firm regulations in monitoring and blocking "negative content such as pornography, LGBT or violence", which is present on OTT services such as Netflix. It has also urged the Ministry of Communication and Informatics to enforce stricter regulations for foreign over-the-top (OTT) platforms such as Netflix.

CNN Indonesia cited deputy chairman of the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission, Hadi Purnomo, who said that there are currently no strict rules that forces OTT services to comply with regulations in Indonesia. This then allows the foreign platforms to "do business at their will" and provides an uneven playing field between local broadcasters and foreign OTTs. Not having stricter regulations would impact local broadcasters in Indonesia, Purnomo added. 

Besides content regulation, Purnomo added that OTT platforms should be subjected to taxes and cooperation schemes that local broadcasters and telecommunications operators comply with, CNN said. This comes as Purnomo pointed out that foreign OTT platforms currently do not contribute taxes to the country, the report added. MARKETING-INTERACTIVE has reached out to Netflix for a statement.

Netflix was only allowed to resume services in mid-2020, after being banned in Indonesia for four years. Shortly after its launch in 2016, the streaming platform was blocked by service providers Telkomsel, IndiHome and Wifi.id for allegedly having content that was deemed inappropriately violent or sexual. Despite its ban, Netflix doubled down on its efforts in the country by creating a fully localised Bahasa Indonesia user interface for Indonesian users, complete with Bahasa Indonesia subtitles. In addition, the streaming platform also partnered with local operators including XL Axiata, Bolt, Hutchison 3 Indonesia and Smartfren for video data plan packages.

Besides working on its platform, Netflix has also been constantly creating content on its social media channels to engage with Indonesians. Last month, Netflix Indonesia tied up with Indonesia national newspaper Kompas to bring augmented reality (AR) magic to its consumers, in an attempt to promote one of its Korean sci-fi films Space Sweepers. In a social media post on Netflix's Facebook and Instagram pages, the streaming platform called for Indonesians to purchase a copy of Kompas on 18 February and scan a QR code at the back. Upon scanning, an AR filter will be activated that shows a spaceship emerging out from the newspaper and launching into space.

 
The post garnered 22,551 likes on Instagram, with netizens being excited to try out the AR filter. A few netizens commented that they were either on the way to get a copy of the newspaper, or already have one in their hands. One even said he or she is ready to collect someone's trash (we assume when another throws out their newspaper) just to try the filter. 
 
Netflix later also reached out to consumers who did not manage to purchase a copy of Kompas and provided a digital image of the newspaper with the QR code, as revealed in its Instagram post. This way, consumers can also be part of the experience even if they did not purchase the newspaper. Netflix has declined to comment on this campaign. 


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