Indonesia wants to ban Grindr and 18 other gay apps

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Police in Indonesia have announced plans to ban gay dating apps like Grindr.

The ban, announced on Friday, is reportedly being proposed after a paedophilia ring used the app as part of its operation.

During a raid on the ring, which allegedly forced teenage boys into sex work, Grindr was apparently discovered on the iPad of one of the perpetrators, leading police to believe that the app was involved.

The move to ban such apps, not only limited to Grindr, comes amid a wider crackdown on gay people in Indonesia.

Agung Setya, the police’s director of economic and special crimes said police had moved to find 18 gay apps, and have asked for the communications ministry will ban them.

He said authorities “hope that, with the authority the communications ministry has, it will make the right decision and impose a ban”.

Indonesia’s top court last month heard a case from activists who want to criminalise gay sex and make it punishable with prison sentences of up to 15 years.

An Islamic group based in Jakarta submitted a review petition to the nine-judge Constitutional Court which has accepted the case.

As well as criminalising gay sex, the Family Love Alliance also wants the court to expand adultery laws to apply to couples who are not married, and to change the definition of rape to be gender-neutral.

Current Indonesian law defines rape as an act by a man against a woman.

Back in February, the Indonesian Government demanded that WhatsApp and Facebook remove ‘gay’ emoji from their apps.

It was later reported that the country was planning its own Russia-style anti-gay ‘propaganda’ law. 

The Indonesian Broadcasting Commission also this year issued a directive banning men from behaving “like women”, after receiving complaints from viewers.

This all comes as a Presidential spokesperson in Indonesia said there is “no room” for an LGBT community in the country.