Religious authoritarianism vs. emoji

This post may be illegal in Indonesia. It includes the code point sequence U+1F468‍ U+200D U+2764️ U+FE0F U+200D U+1F48B‍ U+200D U+1F468, which renders as the emoji 👨‍❤️‍💋‍👨 or “man kissing man.” According to a Time article, the Indonesian Ministry of Communication and Informatics is “asking” Facebook to block the use of “gay” emoji. Failure to comply could mean the Negative Content Management Panel (George Orwell would have been impressed!) will block Facebook in Indonesia.

Emoji have generated several controversies already, but this is the first I’ve heard of a government censoring code points. It’s couched in terms of “sensitivity,” “respect,” and protecting children.

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