Line is banning emojis depicting same-sex couples and transgender people in Indonesia after the government claimed that mothers raised concerns about these images negatively influencing children.
The head of PR at the Ministry of Communications and Informatics, Ismail Cawidu, said he has worked with Line’s Indonesian PR man Teddy Arifianto to come to an agreement that respects local culture.
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Line makes a killing on selling what it calls stickers, which are particularly popular in its Asian home region, with revenue at the company increasing 40 percent from 2014 to 2015 to around $1 billion, according to its latest financials.
LGBT rights are limited in many parts of Southeast Asia, so this does not represent a step in the right direction for local lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people, or a great move by a supposedly innovative tech company.
Someone should tell them there were definitely gay people before emojis.
This is not the first time that Line has censored its platform in a bid to make it in a particular locality. The company confirmed that users in China are unable to use certain words, like Tibet, at the request of the government.