YLKI: WhatsApp Restriction Harming Economy



Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Indonesian Consumers Foundation (YLKI) believes that the restrictions on social media, including WhatsApp messenger, have been detrimental to the public. In addition to violating basic rights to information, the policy is also hurting the economy.

    "Regardless [of the purpose], the block violates basic human rights, namely getting information, it is even harming the economy," YLKI chairman Tulus Abadi said in a written statement on Friday, May 25.

    According to Tulus, the restriction is a sectoral violation of Law No.8/1999 on Consumer Protection as well as other sectoral laws. It is also a general violation of the 1945 Constitution.

    Tulus reminded that the government cannot make reckless policies.

    "Don’t uphold the law by breaking one. Don’t catch a mouse by setting the granary on fire," he said.

    Tulus argues that the government should enact restrictions without clear parameters and criteria. He reminded the government that the policy should not be a bad precedent; suppression of public voice that is guaranteed by the constitution.

    "You can't just block here and there. Blocking is only tolerable during emergencies, and the parameter for emergency situations must be clear and well-measured," he remarked.

    Furthermore, Tulus said the government must be able to explain to the public about the benefits and effectiveness of the blocking so that it won't result in bad impacts that good. 

    "Today, social media, WhatsApp and the like are an inseparable part of people's lives. Not only to socialize but to support work activities and economic activities," he said.

    Previously, Communication and Information Minister, Rudiantara ensured that these restrictions were gradual and only temporary. "This is for certain social media features only and some messenger systems," he said in Jakarta, Wednesday, May 22.


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