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Indonesia Wants To Criminalize Memes (dailydot.com) 163

While the United States has the First Amendment to justify the spread of memes that may ridicule political figures for example, the Indonesian government doesn't. In fact, it is looking to criminalize internet users for posting memes. The Daily Dot reports via Jakarta Post: Its Electronic Information and Transactions Law (ITE) punishes any electronic media communication that incites fear or embarrassment under its defamation article. The public has continuously called for the article's removal, but instead Indonesia is introducing more restrictions to freedom of expression. Posting memes, texts, pictures, or videos would be punishable if found to have a defamatory or slanderous tone. According to the Indonesian government, this provision stands to prevent and control cyberbullying. But it can further be used as a political tool against opposition during elections. Since its implementation in 2008, 200 people have been prosecuted according to data from the Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression Network. Among the most notable cases, was the prosecution of Prita Mulyasari in 2009 for complaining about Omni International Hospital services on an online mailing list.
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Indonesia Wants To Criminalize Memes

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  • Stupid is as stupid does. Someone should make a meme pointing out how stupid Indonesia is.

    Something like this [mememaker.net], this [pinimg.com] or this [imgflip.com]

    --
    A downvote is NOT I disagree.

  • Major religion? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Dog-Cow ( 21281 )

    The majority (~87%) are Muslim. This is not a coincidence.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      How quickly did they take the place over? Do the locals not care? Or were they raped/beaten/killed if they did not convert?

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        It was a Hindu country that has been converted to Islam.. It still has a Hindu minority in Bali and the cultural difference in terms of behavior, respect for woman etc is day and night between the two parts..
    • Re:Major religion? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by retroworks ( 652802 ) on Wednesday October 05, 2016 @06:52AM (#53016423) Homepage Journal

      The logical spiral is kind of interesting.

      Read the links. This was a "cyber-bullying" law basically copied from similar USA attempts to stop "cyber-bullying". From that, a silly blog is written and then submitted as TFA by a /. submitter who boils cyber-bullying to "memes". That sets it up for a master persuader like yourself to inform us that the laws to stop cyber bullying come from radical Islam. Oh, wait, sorry... that was MY spin.

      My guess isn't that it comes from Indonesia's peaceful Muslims, but by some sectarian Indonesian graduate of a California liberal arts program. But I don't know that, I'm only able to recognize my own confirmation bias.

      • "Meme" is a word for the carrying of information, in the concept that information can spread and mutate, in analogy to genes carrying genetic information.

        What they're talking about criminalizing is photosnarks.

        • Nice try, but that word's never going to stick.

          Sometimes the name for the concept becomes the name of a common example. And there's nothing you can do about it now.

          As I understand, "meme" was a term for the smallest unit of transmissible information - meaning genetic or otherwise. Blame Dawkins for tying biology to philosophy - he's not the first one to do it. Einstein's theory of relativity is what eventually led to the idea of moral relativism.

          • I agree with you on the likelihood of "photosnarks" "catching on", but Geoffrey.landis does have a good point that the definition of the word "meme", as given by it's inventor is far wider than it's popular usage which is almost entirely restricted to what "photosnarks" describes quite well.

            Blame Dawkins for tying biology to philosophy - he's not the first one to do it.

            Since you obviously didn't understand Dawkins writing (difficult - he is a very good, clear writer), you missed that he was tying together

            • I think you should look closer. Whether the scientists themselves did it or not, major changes in understanding in science precipitate changes in philosophy and culture with an odd resemblance.

              • If philosophy comes to a single settled conclusion (e.g., answer the question "what is good?") feel free to wake me up. It hasn't settled anything for millennia, and remains a complete waste of time and lung-power.
      • by mjwx ( 966435 )

        My guess isn't that it comes from Indonesia's peaceful Muslims, but by some sectarian Indonesian graduate of a California liberal arts program.

        Not quite, but fairly close.

        Its Indonesia, which means its as corrupt as a 20 yr old MS Access database. Basically this is just a politician bignoting themeves by putting forward a law that is imposisble to enforce to make it look like he's doing something other than collecting taxpayer money and bribes.

        This kind of shit is commonplace in South East Asia, it happens everywhere from Muslim Malaysia to Buddhist Thailand to the Christian Philippines. Hell, if you want to see some really fucked up laws at the m


  • Perhaps Indonesia runs off with some creative legislation some would frown upon they would wish to make the rule of law the finite authority above religion first...
  • by Anonymous Coward

    What's more ridiculous, memes being "speech" in Indonesia or money being "speech" in America?

  • Watch and learn (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Wednesday October 05, 2016 @05:39AM (#53016201)

    We're about to get this too. Can't let a feeling be hurt, can we?

  • by Maritz ( 1829006 ) on Wednesday October 05, 2016 @05:42AM (#53016211)

    is a meme.

    A meme is any discrete unit of culture. Good luck banning that, idiots.

    • by ChromeAeonium ( 1026952 ) on Wednesday October 05, 2016 @06:09AM (#53016285)

      Censorship laws don't have to make sense or be applied consistently; they just have to give power to rulers looking to put enemies in jail.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Pendantic nonsense. A 'meme' is whatever the authorities enforcing the law say it is.

  • According to the Indonesian government, this provision stands to prevent and control cyberbullying.

    Apparently only government controlled cyber bullying is allowed.

  • by blind biker ( 1066130 ) on Wednesday October 05, 2016 @06:12AM (#53016307) Journal

    This deplorable lack of self-confidence is common in Muslim countries. In the West we think it's laughable, but it goes to such extremes where bloggers are targeted and killed - see Bangladesh, for instance.

    • by sinij ( 911942 )

      This deplorable lack of self-confidence is common in Muslim countries. In the West we think it's laughable.

      Your micro-aggression against Muslims triggered me. Check your privilege, this is no laughing matter!

      • You really shouldn't violate blind biker's safe space. Enough of the world is dar ul Islam already
  • by MikeRT ( 947531 ) on Wednesday October 05, 2016 @06:14AM (#53016315)

    It's just a more blunt version of what the American left is pushing under the guise of punishing "harassment" and "triggering" language. Exhibit A, the behavior of Twitter where constantly referencing a left wing user is considered punishable speech, but doxxing and threatening the "right" teenage girl with rape and murder [dangerandplay.com] will never land you in trouble.

    And that's just social media. Students are getting expelled from universities left and right for simply expressing their opinions. Many of them, in the context of classroom discussions.

    What Indonesia is doing is just a more open and raw version of that. They have no culture of freedom of speech. Our culture is collapsing because of all of the pedants and obnoxious creeps who feel the need to constantly interject "the first amendment does not protect you from private consequences" (thanks for the clarification poindexter). Because a culture of free speech cannot survive such minimalism. It is only a matter of time before people demand that the political and legal systems conform to the popular understanding and culture surrounding the limits of speech.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The US doesnt have a culture to lose.

    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      Students are getting expelled from universities left and right for simply expressing their opinions.

      Private operations have always been like that. BYU expels students for growing a beard.

  • Its Electronic Information and Transactions Law (ITE) punishes any electronic media communication that incites fear or embarrassment under its defamation article ... Posting memes, texts, pictures, or videos would be punishable if found to have a defamatory or slanderous tone.

    Right, so it's not banning memes at all, it's banning slander. The fact you can post slander in the form of a dank meme is not the same as banning memes.

  • In soviet India, meme criminalizes you!

    • by Quirkz ( 1206400 )

      I thought this was obvious, but this is the first instance I've seen, more than halfway through the comments.

      Note: India and Indonesia are not the same country.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Indonesia is muslim what do you people expect ?

  • Call me ignorant (and maybe somebody will), but my running impression of Indonesia is that of a semi-authoritarian government with a lot of laws controlling political speech and behavior in addition to probably enshrining majority religious beliefs in law.

    In this context, the law seems entirely expected. The political hegemony wants to control them because they pose a political control risk, the religious leadership is probably eager to back anything that reinforces the ability to enforce religious power v

    • Like any Muslim country, Indonesia is better off w/o political freedom, if the ruling regime is a secular one. If it is a 'free' country, that freedom translates into freedom of Muslims to persecute Christians, Dayaks, Buddhists, Hindus, and any other non Muslim community living in the archipelago. See Aceh for instance. If it's an authoritarian Islamic country, then Singapore and Australia are screwed. If it's an authoritarian secular country, like it was under Sukarno and Suharto, it's fine.
  • The first amendment doesn't "justify" our freedom of speech. It forbids the government from interfering with it. Freedom doesn't require justification.

    -jcr

  • How will people in Indonesia know if their cat wants a cheeseburger or not?

  • by stinkydog ( 191778 ) <sdNO@SPAMstrangedog.net> on Wednesday October 05, 2016 @08:25AM (#53016735) Homepage

    First they came for the Harambe, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a handsome gorilla.

    Then they came for the most interesting man in the world, and I did not speak out—
    Because when I do, I do it silently.

    Then they came for nutsack squirrel, and I did not speak out—
    Because I did not have big nutz.

    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

    -Mustard Man

  • Than an Indonesian meme has no spoon.
    • by Mal-2 ( 675116 )

      It's possible than an Indonesian meme has no spoon.

      It's equally likely that their spoon is too big, and I am a banana.

      • by MrKaos ( 858439 )

        It's possible than an Indonesian meme has no spoon.

        It's equally likely that their spoon is too big, and I am a banana.

        That's illegal in Indonesia.

  • Good thing ICANN is still under the control of a country that respects free speach. I would hate to see a country like Indonesia have any say over Internet censorship.
  • What the fuck ?!
  • n/t
  • Admittedly being pedantic, but: The definition of "meme" has really been bastardized by the existence of stupid Facebook photos with humorous text in them.

    A meme-- quoting wikipedia-- will "self-replicate, mutate, and respond to selective pressures." An example of an *actual* meme is that of God. God is, essentially, a human idea that has quite successfully survived thousands and thousands of years. It self-replicates through the fear or imagination of human beings who pass dogma to their offspring, mutates

    • There are plenty of fascist countries in the 19th and 20th century who managed to suppress the spread of ideas more disruptive than an internet meme and did so successfully for decades. This is an old problem, and once people start receiving corporal punishment or capital punishment for their various thought crimes the vast majority of people there will quit doing "memes".

  • ...only criminals will have cat videos!

  • Unenforcable law is unenforcable.. except within their own borders, of course. What do they think they're going to do, have people extradited to their country because they posted an anti-Indonesia meme or comment somewhere? LOL.
  • Too late, the Indonesia government is already an embarrassment. Anything they public automatically is criminal embarrassment.

  • This is verging on click bait.

    "Indonesia wants to criminalize political parody" would be better. I would have some insight about what the TFS is about.

    Include the word "memes" too if you want, it's a real word with a real meaning, but it's just insufficient in this case.

    I don't think we're talking about "I can haz cheeseburgers?â here.
    • Edit (typos)
      Buzzwords no substitute for an accurate summary

      This is verging on click bait.

      "Indonesia wants to criminalize political parody" would be better. I would have some insight about what the TFS is about.

      Include the word "memes" too if you want, it's a real word with a real meaning, but it's just insufficient in this case.

      I don't think we're talking about "I can haz cheeseburgers?" here.

      /Sigh/, while I'm up on my soapbox, posting to slashdot on mobile still sucks, since there's no edit

Numeric stability is probably not all that important when you're guessing.

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