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Siskaeee is risking jail and defying the haters to make OnlyFans content in Indonesia. Here's why

ABC News - October 8, 2023

Bill Birtles, Jakarta – At a central Jakarta police station, a 25-year-old woman walks in to report herself, surrounded by a rowdy media pack.

Photographers continually yell at her to take her mask off, eager to get a full shot of her face.

But she refuses, posing for the cameras on her own terms, just as she's done countless times before.

Siskaeee is one of a small number of online adult performers in Indonesia, a country with some of the world's toughest anti-pornography laws.

She's previously been jailed for creating explicit content, and is now facing a fresh investigation as part of a broader police crackdown under Indonesia's morality laws.

This month, police in Jakarta raided an alleged porn studio in the south of the city, questioning 16 people and putting five under investigation.

Separately, police arrested four others for promoting an orgy party online, alleging that the group had breached internet communications laws and anti-porn regulations.

In both cases, police organised splashy media conferences where they paraded suspects in front of the cameras, prompting huge interest and rolling news coverage.

They presented blurred pictures as evidence, describing in detail the role that each suspect was alleged to have played.

Indonesian reporters stationed themselves outside the indistinct two-storey terrace house allegedly used by a porn production studio to create more than 100 explicit movies.

Siskaeee, whose real name is Fransiska Candra Novitasari, is among the group of five under investigation for making and distributing illegal content.

The penalties are serious. Under the country's anti-pornography law, offenders face up to 12 years in jail.

Those convicted of downloading porn face up to four years in prison or a 2 billion rupiah ($200,000) fine – although this offence is rarely enforced.

Many content creators in Indonesia wear masks or other disguises, allowing them to slip under the radar and keep earning an income.

But police in various cities across Java in recent years have pursued multiple couples creating content for OnlyFans in hotels, only for their locations to be identified and reported by people online.

"Porn is illegal, but even when the government says don't do it, Indonesians will continue to seek it," Siskaeee told the ABC.

In this latest case, police are interviewing her as a witness, with prosecutors seemingly focusing their investigation on the director and alleged porn studio owner more so than the performers.

Siskaeee says she only made one movie with the director and claims he duped her into filming scenes that deviated from the original script.

She says she thought she was making a religious-themed film about a prostitute who repents.

Several other performers who turned themselves in to police also said they were misled into performing illicit acts on camera.

A male performer, known publicly in Indonesia only by his initial "P", told reporters he thought he was filming a legal production that was destined for Indonesia's national television channels.

The performers' claims have roused discussion about whether they are genuine victims of an unscrupulous director, or if they are simply doing what they can to survive in the cat-and-mouse legal game of making porn in Indonesia.

"Police will have to prove that [the performers] were aware what they were doing was illegal and they consented to it," Asep Iriawan, a retired judge and legal commentator, told Kompas TV.

"If [police can prove] that [the actors] internalised their roles as scripted and acted as requested with consent, then clearly they won't be seen as victims."

A taboo star

Siskaeee first shot to widespread public attention in 2021 when she was arrested for a short solo exhibitionist video she made at Yogyakarta International Airport.

The boarding house room where she lived was raided and police published her personal details, claiming she was making between $1,500 and $2,000 a month posting sexual content on overseas-based subscription websites such as OnlyFans.

But most of her fans follow her content through major platforms including Twitter, now known as X, and Telegram.

Under Indonesia's anti-pornography law, it is illegal to perform, produce and distribute pornography. The law also refers to "sexualised exhibitions or performances", without specifying exactly what those acts entail.

While it is officially a multi-religious state, the country has the world's largest Muslim population, and the anti-pornography law was originally proposed and passed with the backing of Islamic political parties.

It has been intermittently enforced since it was passed 15 years ago, and critics have long argued it would be arbitrarily implemented.

That patchy enforcement has allowed performers such as Siskaeee to build a career despite the hurdles.

"Whatever job we choose in life, there are always some risks involved," she said, acknowledging the risks she faced were higher than most.

"Money plays a part too, of course, but I have a good body and I've always liked to show it off to others.

"While my body is still good. I'll take the risks."

Her 2021 conviction saw her spend three months in jail and pay a $25,000 fine, a large amount in Indonesia.

But after her release, she returned to her work in the sex industry, releasing explicit content on various sites and capitalising on the notoriety to further build her brand.

"Condemnation isn't a big deal for me," she said.

"A lot of people condemn what I do or leave hateful comments.

"But I am concerned about the impact on my family.

"My family is sad every time they hear the news mention my name. The news makes me sound like I'm on the run, like I'm a terrorist or murderer."

Despite these difficulties, Siskaeee has become arguably the best-known adult performer in the country.

A law out of touch with reality

Indonesia's anti-pornography law also includes strict internet censorship of pornographic websites, but it doesn't include content on mainstream social media services that allow explicit content.

One indicator suggesting the censorship's ineffectiveness is the high prevalence of virtual private networks (VPNs), which allow people to circumvent the blocked porn sites.

A 2018 study by online research company Global Web Index claimed Indonesia had the highest proportion of VPN users in the world.

Other VPN companies have published market research placing Indonesia further down their lists for user downloads, but the prevalence in multiple surveys shows higher usage than in countries with unobstructed access to adult sites.

"Since the pandemic, pornography is the easiest and cheapest recreation for people," Jakarta-based sociologist Devie Rahmawati told local media.

"Parents have an obligation to educate young people about the bad impacts, of course, but adults are accessing or involving themselves in this sort of content voluntarily.

"They are aware of the consequences and negative effects of consuming it."

The recent flurry of police activity comes as Indonesia's government moves in a more conservative direction on sexual morality.

Indonesia's Islamic conservatism

A string of controversial events highlights the rise of Islamic conservatism across Indonesia.

In late 2022, the parliament passed a new criminal code which, among other changes, broadened existing adultery laws to criminalise all sex outside of marriage with up to a year in prison.

Limits on who can report suspects to police were touted as safeguards, and the new code won't go into effect until 2026.

But it nonetheless reflects the heavy influence religious political parties have in Indonesia and the pressure police feel to pursue and publicise such cases.

Targeting sexual content makers also appears to be low-hanging fruit for investigators, with Jakarta police revealing they became aware of the porn studio's content during a routine "cyber patrol".

Although some of these laws directly affect their work, adult content creators are relatively muted in their criticism. Siskaeee told the ABC she supports the anti-pornography law and the work police are doing.

She and the other performers under investigation are hopeful police and prosecutors will view them as victims this time around, as scrutiny mounts on the man who ran the alleged studio.

Either way, Siskaeee has become adept at the delicate dance of making porn in Indonesia, no matter the risks.

"I'm happy and blessed because this case shows that people pay endless attention to me," she said. "It's good for me and my future."

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-10-08/indonesia-porn-crackdown-targets-onlyfans-creators/10290569