Several LGBT apps have been removed from the Google Play Store in Indonesia, the largest Muslim nation in the world, amid increased government persecution against LGBT people.
The removed apps include popular Chinese gay dating service Blued, which had three different apps on the store, and boasts 27 million users worldwide.
According to the Jakarta Post, “The Communications and Information Ministry’s public relations bureau acting head, Noor Iza, told kompas.com on Monday that since Sunday at 12:30 a.m. the gay social network app Blued, which has been a hot topic of discussion among netizens since late last year, had been removed from the Play Store for the Indonesian market.”
“Until now up to 14 apps have been removed. Blued itself had three apps on Google Play Store,” Iza reportedly proclaimed, adding, “I don’t know [whether the ministry has sent a similar request to Apple]. They should since there are two operating systems [largely used in Indonesia].”
The Jakarta Post reports that, “Prior to sending a request to Google to take down Blued, the ministry had blocked five domain name servers (DNS) for the Blued service on Oct. 12,” and “also asked the tech company to remove 73 apps with LGBT-related content.”
Though homosexuality isn’t explicitly illegal in Indonesia, the largest Muslim nation in the world, persecution against LGBT people has been on a sharp rise.
In December, Indonesia narrowly rejected a law that would criminalize gay sex and sex before marriage.
In October, it was also reported that Indonesia was considering a ban on LGBT television characters, and following a gay club crackdown in December, ten men were sentenced to prison for between two and three years.