The internet censorship five stages of grief

The internet censorship five stages of grief

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The Indonesian internet is known for its notorious government censorship initiative. As a self-proclaimed citizen of the world, I believe that you can't entirely eradicate pornographic/radical content without pulling the plug of the whole internet and switching to a North Korea-style intranet. Besides, if you're really detemined, you can find various ways to bypass the filters.

This whole censorship does not benefit anyone whatsoever. Sure, those people in the government think they do it "for the best interests of the people", but in reality, they just acted out of their own gut, while at the same time trying to undermine many others' freedom of expression by censoring online content in a single sweep without accounting for transparency. It hurts no one but the people who actually use these services legitimately.

We're not going to see this go away anytime soon, and until then, we will have to reel in whenever shit like this happens once again. Of course, the Kübler-Ross five stages of grief applies to all of us while trying to come to terms with it. Here are some examples of what you might feel when that happens.


It was a slow day. You were sitting at your desk, minding your own business, when you heard from your colleague that one of your favourite websites/apps has been added to Kominfo's blocklist.

You couldn't believe it at first. You thought to yourself, "okay, okay, this won't happen, Kominfo are a bunch of idiots anyway, I'm sure they'll pull a Tumblr and reverse the decision a few days later." As the day went on, you're pretty sure that it won't happen, until...

Anger read through even more sources and confirm the worst possible news. It's gone, your favourite service/app is blocked. You suddenly feel this pent up anger inside you. After all, it was the umpteenth time this had happened, and enough is enough. You angrily opened Twitter, then started flinging out profanities towards @Kemkominfo, trying to at least knock some common sense towards them.

You get more and more angry as you kept typing these essays of grief on Twitter. Countless of angry messages sent across many social media platforms and instant messaging groups. You just felt like you were about to smash something. It gets worse, to the point where you just slept after this whole mess, and woke up the next day with a splitting headache.


You took your painkillers as you try to kill the headache you acquired from all that crap yesterday, and went off to do your daily routine. Hours had passed until you slowly came to a realisation: it's all pointless. You won't be able to get Kemkominfo out of their thick skulls anyway. You went on a breakdown and lost all motivation to do anything productive. You can only hope for the sweet release of death time to pass as this whole thing blows over.


But then, you suddenly stopped and thought, "I should probably find out how to bypass this."

So you started looking for guides on the internet, and asking around for ways to do it. Alternative DNSes, proxy servers, VPNs, you name it. You figured that you might be able to fork $5 a month for a DigitalOcean droplet and use it to host your VPN, maybe it will help your friends too. You collect every single solution that you can find and try every single one of them.


It's no use. Telkom's filters are too strong and they hijacked the alternative DNS provider that you set in your device. You realised you didn't have a credit card so you can't pay for your DigitalOcean bill. That block page might haunt you in your sleep.

Then you throw in the towel. You start to realise that whatever happens, life goes on as usual. The government will continue being a bunch of dicks, and this will keep happening until Kemkominfo gets hit in the head and started realising the right way to deal with advancements in technology.

Until then, you can only hope, keep calm, and carry on with your life.

After all, you have DNSCrypt running in your computer all this time.

Resi Respati

Web developer based in Jakarta, Indonesia.