Instagram Account in Indonesia That Displayed Homosexual Abuse Taken Down
An account that focused on the abuse and harassment homosexual Muslims face in Indonesia has been taken down, according to a new report. But exactly why is still unknown.
The account, called Alpatuni, reportedly featured comic strips that showed the ways gay Muslims have been discriminated against in Indonesia. Soon after the account opened, the Indonesia Ministry of Communications described it as “pornographic” and called on Instagram to remove it, according to the Associated Press. Instagram subsequently removed the account, the report says. A page with the same name and similar content on Facebook has also reportedly been removed.
In a statement to Fortune, however, an Instagram spokesperson said that the company “did not remove the account.” The spokesperson added that “there are a number of other reasons why an account may no longer be accessible, including, for example, if the account holder deleted the account, deactivated the account, or changed the account username.”
Instagram ultimately decides on whether to remove accounts based on its Community Guidelines, a collection of rules that govern use on the service. The account in question did not violate those guidelines.
Tensions have been high in Indonesia over the last several years since more conservative lawmakers have taken an increasingly hostile stance against the LGBT community. In the last few years, the number of attacks and hate speech against the LGBT community in Indonesia has increased significantly. Conservative lawmakers have targeted the LGBT community and suggested that it could be harmful to the world’s largest Muslim nation.
According to the Associated Press, the Ministry of Communications is saying that Instagram and Facebook removed the account after the department’s minister wrote a letter to the company. That letter, according to the report, threatened Instagram with a ban across the country if the account remained.
Update at 9:42 a.m. ET to include Instagram’s statement and more details on the account’s removal.