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At no point in starting up Netflix did the library ever remind me of that back room of a video store where all the XXX adult flicks were kept, beyond the fact that movie covers are used to make informed viewing decisions. But one country thinks that the streaming giant is entirely too full of pornographic and violent content, and the biggest telecom company in Indonesia has put a stop to all that by blocking access to Netflix on all Internet platforms available to consumers. Man, I hope those subscribers got to finish the last episode of Making a Murderer before that happened.
The Netflix ban went up across Indonesia on Wednesday morning, thanks to PT Telkom Indonesia, where the Director of Consumers Dian Rachmawan explains the decision by saying that Netflix did not comply with the country’s broadcast laws, which apparently prohibit certain levels of sex and violence. Unfortunately, neither Rachmawan nor any other spokespeople have specified exactly which shows or movies were deemed to be too pornographic or violent. So maybe this is a reaction to some of the non-nude but still passionate sex shown on Jessica Jones, or perhaps the brutal ways of House of Cards’ Frank Underwood are what got everyone’s feathers ruffled.
Indonesia is one of the huge number of countries that Netflix expanded to a few weeks ago. That was apparently more than enough time for officials to poke around and confirm that some of the programming was too extreme for the nation’s citizens. To be fair, the Indonesian government did contact Netflix with an ultimatum of sorts to say they can make the effort to conform to broadcasting regulations in the country, although it would reportedly require a local office being set up, employees being hired, and tax situations being handled.
As such, I’m not altogether surprised that Netflix’soutspoken CEO Ted Sarandos hasn’t come out and declared this a top priority. In fact, it seems like this would be an inciting incident behind Netflix’s tech squad to specifically target Indonesian net-surfers for accessing non-regional content through VPN services, since the company is all into stopping that now.
Rachmawan has no purely malicious desire to keep the country’s entertainment-hungry citizens away from Netflix forever. According to Daily Social, he says that Netflix is still a small enough business in Indonesia, and basically that he wants to work with them in this early stage to get them to adhere to the country’s broadcasting stipulations so that future problems can be avoided. I guess a solution to this depends on how big of a boon Sarandos and his underlings think Indonesian subscriptions are. It’s likely we’ll be hearing something more in the coming weeks, when they aren’t planning on how to spend billions of dollars.
It’s almost mind-boggling for Netflix to be called out for too much violence and pornographic material, considering the company has largely avoided even offering up Skinemax softcore features, much less more hardcore media. I guess Daredevil beheadings and the plethora of action and horror movies are a little heavy on the violence for the country’s government, though. Can’t we all just watch Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and get along?