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Clubhouse may join banned apps club in Indonesia

Coconuts Jakarta - February 17, 2021

Here's a little heads up for those of you who are new to or are still trying to get into the hot new audio-based social app Clubhouse in Indonesia: there's a possibility that the country's Information and Communications Ministry (Kominfo) may block it entirely in the next few months.

Officials say access to the platform may be blocked as the app has yet to register as an Electronic System Operator (PSE) in Indonesia.

"According to the Ministerial Regulation (PM) No. 5 issued in 2020, any PSE that is not registered in accordance with the policies that apply will receive an administrative sanction in the form of access termination," Dedy Permadi, the ministry's spokesman, said yesterday.

Under the regulation, all PSEs operating in the private scope (including social media networks) must be officially registered before they're allowed to operate in the country.

To avoid the ban, Dedy said that Clubhouse must register within the deadline, which is six months since the regulation was set into law. This means that the app, which was only launched on iOS in April, has until May 24 to become a registered PSE.

If Clubhouse were to be banned, it would join a list of other popular apps Kominfo banned on legal and/or moral grounds in recent years. These include gay dating app Blued, which was banned for its "immoral" LGBT content, TikTok for its general "negative content," and Telegram for allegedly facilitating the spread of radical content, though the bans for the latter two have since been lifted.

Clubhouse has yet to issue any statement on legally consolidating its Indonesian presence.

The invitation-only audio chat social networking app has picked up in popularity over the past week after Tesla CEO Elon Musk used the app to host a room, which refers to the spaces where people hold their conversations. Indonesian celebrities have since joined the club and have begun hosting their own rooms on the app, including film director Joko Anwar and actor Ernest Prakasa.

With new users entitled to extend two free invitations to their friends initially, access to Clubhouse has been limited, paving the way for some entrepreneurially-minded Clubhouse members to sell their invitations on online marketplaces.

Source: https://coconuts.co/jakarta/news/clubhouse-may-join-banned-apps-club-in-indonesia