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Indonesia orders ‘gay’ emoji block, blames ‘negative influence’ on kids

It’s 2016, so you’d be forgiven for thinking we’d all be past this sort of rubbish.

Indonesia has ordered a block on “gay” emoji, citing their “negative influence” on kids.

The Ministry of Communications worked with major messaging service LINE to snuff out the stickers for good.

The moratorium specifically affects emoji that depict same-sex couples holding hands or kissing.

gay emojiExamples of LGBT emoji

Speaking about the proposed block, Ismail Cawidu, Head of PR at the Ministry of Communications, said:

“We appreciated [LINE’s] stride in addressing the things that potentially cause public unrest, especially the concerns of mothers of children about the negative influence of the circulation of Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender stickers.”

He added that LINE was “very understanding” of the “norms, customs and religions prevailing in Indonesia”.

LINE, developed in Japan, is one of the world’s most popular mobile messaging services globally. Early last year, the company reported 600 million active users, with a view to top 700 million by the end of 2015.

It’s available in a number of languages, and works on a host of operating systems, including iOS, Android, Windows, and BlackBerry.

Related: Best Android Apps 2016

Indonesia’s proposal to ban LGBT emoji will be discussed by a panel of experts “from various fields”, who will decide whether the ban goes ahead.

“We can tell them that this is not in accordance with our culture,” added the Minister.

Indonesia isn’t the first country to crack down on LGBT emoji. Last year, Russia considered a ban, claiming the emoji infringed “gay propaganda” laws.

There were even reports that Apple was under investigation in Russia for “promoting homosexuality” with “gay emojis”.

Tell us what you think of the proposed block in the comments.

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