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Instagram deletes gay comic strip after Indonesia outrage

Instagram on Wednesday shut down an account that published comic strips about the struggles of a gay Muslim in Indonesia after it sparked a backlash in the world’s biggest Islamic nation. The move comes after Indonesia’s Communications Ministry sent a letter to the social media giant warning that the “pornographic” content violated an electronic information law. The now-deleted account, which had about 6,000 followers, published a dozen posts depicting a gay Muslim man named Alpantuni who talked about discrimination and his life in a conservative family. “My family is very religious. I have to pray five times a day, but I’ve got a secret,” the character said in one strip that has since been deleted. “I’m very pious in front of others, but in private I’m gay.” Homosexuality is not illegal in Indonesia but a backlash against the LGBT community is growing and same-sex relationships are widely frowned upon. The comic strip sparked heated online debate with some conservatives branding it immoral. “Please remove this account and put whoever runs it in prison — this is indecent,” one Instagram user wrote. Others said it was an honest portrait of gay life in the world’s biggest Muslim majority country. “Gay Muslims are real. Gay Muslims being persecuted by people in their neighbourhood and their conservative families is real,” said one Twitter user. In October, an Indonesian was arrested for running a Facebook page that catered to the gay community.

Source  : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-international/instagram-deletes-gay-comic-strip-after-indonesia-outrage/article26263475.ece

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