Karina M. Tehusijarana, Jakarta – YouTube has blocked a satirical video about West Papua from being viewed in Indonesia following a "legal complaint from the government".
The video, created by Australian film and media company The Juice Media, satirizes the Australian government's policies on West Papua as part of the company's Honest Government Ad series.
Titled "Visit West Papua!", the video portrays the Indonesian government as colonizers and the Australian government as blithely standing by for its own profit.
"Today Australia is proud to continue its fine tradition of complicity in West Papua," an actress in the video says cheerfully.
The video was first uploaded on Nov. 21, 2018 but was reshared on The Juice Media's Twitter account last week following widespread protests and rioting in Papua and West Papua.
If you're wondering what's gong on in #WestPapua, here's an Honest Government Ad. Right now, the Indonesian Government has blocked the Internet and is sending in military to quash massive protests against their occupation. West Papuans are demanding a referendum @FreeWestPapua pic.twitter.com/gCqiJCTzDy – theJuice ?????? (@thejuicemedia) August 21, 2019
On Wednesday, The Juice Media tweeted that it had received a message from YouTube notifying that the video had been blocked in Indonesia following a legal complaint from the government.
So the Indonesian Government requested @YouTube to block our (satirical) Honest Government Ad about #WestPapua from being viewed in Indonesia. pic.twitter.com/tLW8GzueSq – theJuice ?????? (@thejuicemedia) August 28, 2019
The Communications and Information Ministry has yet to confirm whether it requested the block, with ministry spokesperson Ferdinandus Setu saying that he was still verifying information in response to an inquiry from The Jakarta Post.
The video can still be watched using a virtual private network, which allows users to access websites over another secure connection.
The blocking of the video comes amid a government-imposed internet blackout on Papua and West Papua that has been in place since last Wednesday.
National Police spokesperson Brig. Gen. Dedi Prasetyo said that a joint police, National Cyber and Encryption Agency (BSSN) and Communications and Information Ministry team had taken down 32,000 pieces of "provocative content" about Papua between Aug. 14 and 27.
"Based on the 32,000 posts that have been mapped, over 1,750 accounts have been identified to be blocked and taken down by the ministry," Dedi said on Wednesday.