Tri Indah Oktavianti, Jakarta – Online feminist publication Magdalene.co has suffered a series of cyberattacks over the past month, which has made it difficult for readers to access the website.
"Hi friends, the Magdalene website often cannot be accessed because we have been experiencing a lot of attacks over the past month," the Magdalene official Twitter account @the_magdalene wrote on Wednesday.
Hi teman-teman, website Magdalene sering tidak bisa diakses karena serangan yang bertubi-tubi selama sebulan terakhir. – Magdalene (@the_magdalene) June 9, 2020
"These attacks, whatever their motives are, will hurt the freedom of the press, limit the space for dialogue and discussion, and in the end, they will destroy the opportunity for alternative media to grow," the message continued.
Magdalene co-founder and editor in chief Devi Asmarani said the cyberattacks had been occurring regularly since the end of May.
"They debilitate our website, and every time we get it back up, they shut it down again," Devi told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.
She said she was unsure of the motives behind the attack. However, she said, "Some people might dislike the sensitive content and criticism published by Magdalene."
Established in September 2013 by Devi and fellow female journalists Hera Diani and Karina Anjani, the bilingual feminist website has vocally advocated for women's rights, LGBT rights, and gender equality.
The site has more than 42,000 followers on Instagram and nearly 68,000 followers on Twitter. Devi said the site got approximately 500,000 page views per month.
"Because of the attacks, our web traffic has dropped and we have lost our revenue and page views," she said.
Another feminist publication, Konde.co, has experienced a cyberattack on its Twitter account, which forced it to create a new one, @konde_co.
Terima kasih, Magdalene. Betul, beberapa waktu belakangan, @konde_co juga mengalami serangan ini. Akun ini adalah akun media sosial kami yang baru. Mohon dukungannya ya, teman-teman pembaca. ?? https://t.co/4IfI3YvkJd – kondedotco (@konde_co) June 10, 2020
In a post thanking Magdalene for its support, Konde said its previous Twitter account had been attacked numerous times, prompting the publication to create a new one.
According to the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) Jakarta, Konde had trouble accessing its previous Twitter account on May 15. Konde also received notifications on forced login attempts from Surabaya, Yogyakarta and the Netherlands.
The AJI said Konde had hosted a discussion for Konde Women's Talk on a case of alleged sexual abuse by IM, an alumni of the Indonesian Islamic University (UII) in Yogyakarta.
Konde.co has also published several articles in relation to the case, which were used to put pressure on the Australian government and the University of Melbourne to revoke a prestigious scholarship awarded to IM.
AJI Jakarta advocacy team head Erick Tanjung said the organization was looking into the attacks. "We condemn any form of intimidation against journalists or media outlets that have been critical in delivering news," he told the Post.