10 Common Media Laws in Indonesia

There are so many kinds of media in Indonesia. The one thing that has been familiar for you is social media.However, social media would need a sophisticated technology to access it. One that you should not forget is mass media. Mass media has been developed rapidly since 90’s. Although mass media is old fashioned, there are still a number of people that prefer using mass media.

The law of mass media was conducted after there are many inappropiate contents in many TV shows. That is why KPI (Komisi Penyiaran Indonesia) was also formed as the control of the broadcasting media in Indonesia. Here we would like to resume the 10 law of media in Indonesia.

Mass Media Laws

Almost of the laws of mass media is listed on UU Press No.40 year 1999 dan UU Penyiaran No.32 2002. The resumes are:

  1. The news on national press

You might be familiar with some news on TV. News TV program always broadcast the criminal acts, government program, or even corruption. Actually, there is a strict regulation that the broadcasting is the big duty for some mass media to support the democratic of Indonesia. It is stated on UU Press No.40 1999 article 5 item 1 that the national press may broadcast a news or opinion with some guidelines of rules. It should not break any etiquette of broadcasting without differing any group, religion, or class.

  1. Showing porn an violent content is prohibited

 On UU Press no. 40 1999, there have been stated that broadcasting media should not show any negative content, such as pornography and violent content. As you know, that TV Indonesia sometimes show some violent content that may give a bad impact toward children psychology. And also, pornography is banned  in media broadcasting Indonesia. Indonesia is a country with the strict rule of moral value toward politeness. So, while you see some violent action that shown in some movie or TV shows, you may make a report to KPI. (See also: History of Broadcasting in Indonesia)

  1. For TV, they have to show age recommendation for viewers

Do you see the symbol of numbers or alphabet such as: SU, BO, 13+, or 18+ on the corner of TV program? It is actually a symbol of the recommendation for the viewers of the TV program. SU is the short of ‘Semua Umur’ which means all of people with the various age may watch the program. While BO is the short of “Bimbingan Orang Tua” means the children may watch the program under the guideline of their parents. And 13+ or 18+ is the recommendation of the age for viewers that may watch the program.

See also:

4. The independence of press

 The independence of the press as the form of democratic principle must support the needs of the citizens to give their aspiration toward the government program. That is why sometimes you would see some opinion corners on newspaper, a public debating for some government programs on TV, or giving opinion through telephone on the radio. All of these kinds event are aimed to support the democratic principle. Through mass media, the government would understand what the citizen’s needs and what is their aspiration.

5. Broadcasting a hate speech is totally banned

On UU Penyiaran No.32 2002, there is stated that the media of press must not make a content that included a hate speech. Hate speech means the opinion, news content, or picture which attack a person or group on the basis of attributes such as religion, ethnic origin, race, sexual orientation, gender, and disability. The bad impact of broadcasting a hate speech could be a kind of the intimidation for some groups that might cause a war or disturbance.

Social Media Laws

In the term of 2006, social media officially became one of media in Indonesia. Almost of the laws of social media is regulated on UU ITE. UU ITE (The regulation of Information an Electronics Transaction) is renewed regularly since the use of social media starts to be uncontrolled. Many of social media users don’t pay attention toward the moral value of Indonesia. These are the laws which are taken from ITE law.

  1. Cyber crimes

Cyber crime is an illegal activity that against the law in Indonesia by using a computer in doing a crime. The regulation of cyber crime is written in Law no 11 2008 about ITE. Illegal access is regulated in article 30 and Article 32 on ITE Laws. Someone who access illegally toward a system would be sentenced maximum 9 years of imprisoned and/or fined for maximum IDR (three billion). That is why the cyber crime could be categorized as the heavy crime in Indonesia.

See also:

  1. Hoax

Hoax is a trick in which someone tells people a lie. Hoax in Indonesia become more popular since the presidential vote in 2014. In Law of ITE no. 11 2008 article 28 stated:

(1) A Person who intentionally wide spreading the hoax or misleading news which caused a consumer loss in transactional electronics could be the suspect of hoax.

(2) A person who intentionally and without right to disseminate information aimed at generating a sense of hatred or hostility of specific individuals and / or community groups based on ethnicity, religion, race, and group (SARA) could be a suspect of hoax.

However, the punishment for the suspect of hoax is stated on the law of ITE in article 14. It is stated that the person who intentionally widely spread the hoax could be imprisoned for maximum 10 years.

  1. Violence threat and terrorize others

The law about the violence threat and terrorize others is regulated in ITE Laws Article 29.

“For those who intentionally and without have any authorization sending an electronic information and/or electronic documents (in this case in the form of SMS) containing personally threatened violence or intimidating threats shall be criminally charged with a maximum of 12 (twelve) years and/or a fine of up to IDR 2,000,000,000 (two billion rupiah).”

It is clear enough that giving violence threat or terrorizing others is hardly prohibited in Indonesia. That is why you should be wise enough in using your media social.

  1. Online Gambling

It is stated in ITE Laws article 27 item 2:

For those who have no authorization intentionally distribute and/or transmit and/or make an accessible Electronic Information and/or Electronic Documents with a gambling charge could be imprisoned for maximum 6 (six) years and/or fined for maximum IDR (one-billion-rupiahs).

For some of you, it is so fun collecting money from online gambling, however, you should be careful of the law that may harm yourself.

  1. The law of pornography content

On the ITE Law no. 11 of 2008, there is no term pornography, but “content that violates decency”. The dissemination of content that violates decency through the internet is regulated in Article 27 paragraph (1) of the ITE Law concerning Prohibited Acts, as follows.

“For those who intentionally and without any authorization distribute and/or transmit and/or make accessible Electronic Information and/or Electronic Documents with a content that violates morals.”

Violation of Article 27 paragraph (1) of the ITE Law shall be imprisoned for a maximum of six years and / or a maximum fine of IDR 1 billion (Article 45 paragraph [1] of the ITE Law). In article 53 of the Law on ITE, it is stated that all existing laws and regulations are declared to remain valid, as long as they are not contrary to the ITE Law.

These are the 10 laws of media that you should know. Some of them may surprise you because the law of social media give heavier punishment than the mass media. That is why you should not be joking in using social media. There have been many cases of the social media user is jailed because of creating the inappropiate content. For further about law in Indonesia, you could read Indonesian National Human Rights Law .