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Communication ministry summons social media platform X over online gambling ads

Jakarta Globe - February 29, 2024

Antara, Jakarta – Semuel Abrijani Pangerapan, the Director-General of Information Applications at the Communication and Informatics Ministry, has revealed that representatives from social media platform X (formerly Twitter) were summoned to address concerns regarding online gambling advertisements on their platform.

Previously, the Ministry issued warnings due to the persistence of online gambling ads on the platform owned by Elon Musk.

"They have responded to our email and expressed their commitment to come to Indonesia. However, as their headquarters are in Singapore, they are still determining the appropriate time," said Semuel during a Jakarta press briefing on Thursday.

Semuel conveyed that the ministry would request X to develop specific technology or algorithms capable of automatically detecting advertisements containing online gambling promotion content.

"Previously, we notified X to remove [gambling content]. However, if this happens repeatedly, it becomes exhausting for us. Hence, we ask them to develop a system so that if similar content is found, it can be handled automatically," explained Semuel.

Concerns among netizens had escalated due to the proliferation of online gambling advertisements on X, involving public figures. This was deemed disruptive, appearing in search results even for users who did not follow accounts promoting online gambling.

According to a recent survey by Populix, 63 percent of internet users claimed they have been exposed to online gambling ads, with 41 percent of respondents admitting an interest in visiting online gambling sites after seeing such advertisements. Out of this group, 16 percent eventually tried online gambling.

In 2023, the Ministry took down 810,785 pieces of content related to online gambling, nearly quadrupling the number removed in 2022.

Minister Budi Arie disclosed that stern warnings and ultimatums were issued to various social media platforms, including Meta in October 2023 and X (formerly Twitter) in January 2024. These warnings led to Meta removing 1.65 million online gambling content pieces and 450,000 related advertisements from August to October 2023.

Enforced in January, the law governing electronic transactions and information explicitly prohibits online gambling, imposing severe penalties of up to 10 years imprisonment and fines of up to Rp 10 billion ($645,000) for operators found guilty of operating gambling sites.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/tech/communication-ministry-summons-social-media-platform-x-over-online-gambling-ad