As governments kindly ask Facebook to please explain itself following that data scandal, Indonesia isn’t up for compromise.
According to a Bloomberg report, the country’s communications minister Rudiantara has threatened to shut down access to the platform if there’s evidence of personal data being harvested, or if it’s being used to influence Indonesia’s upcoming elections.
“If I have to shut them down, then I will do it,” he told the publication.
Rudiantara warned the social media giant of administrative and criminal sanctions if it’s found to not be complying with Indonesian regulations. The advisory also applies to other social networks like Twitter and Google’s YouTube.
As the country’s president Joko Widodo is set to begin his reelection campaign, concerns are rising over the extent to which social media can influence voters, as per Russia’s alleged interference during the 2016 U.S. elections.
“If you are not able to manage your platform to support the stability of Indonesia that means your intention to be in Indonesia is not for business, it’s for something else,” Rudiantara added.
A nationwide block would be quite the dent for Facebook, as Indonesia represents a large part of the social network’s user base. The country has the fourth-largest number of users globally, with 130 million on the platform, according to Statista.
Indonesian authorities have previously blocked Telegram in 2017 for failing to address terror-related content on the platform, which it has since lifted after the company created a reporting hotline.
Tumblr was also blocked in 2016 for not properly restricting adult content, and authorities in the socially conservative country asked messaging apps to drop emoji that show support for the LGBTQ community. In the same year, Rudiantara threatened Google with blocking after concerns about it not paying tax in Indonesia.