In a recent measure intended to prevent terrorism in Indonesia, the nation’s Ministry of Information and Communication will start closing down websites which contain messages or images of extremist violence.
The plan’s original target was to block 900 reported websites that contain violence and could lead to terrorist behavior by August 2011. But so far only 300 of those sites have been taken down. Tifatul Sembiring, the infamous minister whom we have written aboutfrequently, believes that the root of violence and terrorism is an incorrect understanding of religion or ideology. He says that violent content on a website could trigger a dangerous act.
Tifatul told Antara about this blockade:
There were calls to block or shut down sites that agitate and insult religion, but we will do it gradually [...] And the community should manage the information more rationally so they won’t be easily influenced.
Indonesia is still fighting against terrorism after serial bombings and online threats. It’s impossible to gauge what effect the blocking of these reportedly violent websites will have. But in my opinion, giving a correct and more balanced education to people about ideology and religion, on alternative websites, would be another path of action the government could take.