(UPDATE: Dea has tweeted that her Facebook account was reactivated on Thursday night, but that she is temporarily blocked from posting anything.)
FACEBOOK has thus far remained adamant in its decision to suspend Dea Basori’s account for uploading historical photos depicting Indonesian women baring their breasts.
After the appeal I sent out last night, Facebook has decided to not reactivate my account. pic.twitter.com/AZnT5C8hIe
— DEA (@DeaSB) February 24, 2016
Dea, a 23-year-old dental student in Jakarta, had put together a photo album featuring the photos to dispute the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission’s censoring of the Puteri Indonesia 2016 pageant last weekend.
Censors had found it necessary to blur the legs and cleavage of contestants wearing the traditional Indonesian kebaya, a decision which drew flak from netizens.
Indonesia has recently been embroiled in debates between conservatives and liberals regarding social mores, involving issues such as the LGBT movement and Valentine’s Day, with many religious hardliners calling out for the need to “protect traditional Indonesian culture”.
The commission’s decision to blur out parts of the contestants due to what they wore spurred Dea to search the internet to see what Indonesian women had worn in the past.
She then decided to compile the photos she found into an album and shared it with the public with the intention to educate them on what real local women had worn – many of the pictures showed topless women, as was the norm during the 1900s, though it’s still fairly common for local women today to be seen going topless in rural areas across the archipelago.
Some 24 hours after she uploaded the album, it received nearly 3,000 shares – and more than 50 reports for “nudity” and “explicit content”, which resulted in her account being suspended.
Facebook has disabled my account for good because I posted photos of Indonesian Women in history. pic.twitter.com/SBPtBJtkgE
— DEA (@DeaSB) February 24, 2016
Speaking to Asian Correspondent, Dea said that she felt that Facebook’s decision was “harsh”.
However, she remains hopeful that she will be able to negotiate with representatives from Facebook to regain access to her account.
She has even set up a petition in the hopes of getting Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s attention, asking him to “stand up for gender equality and the preservation of history”.
In her open letter to Zuckerberg, Dea wrote:
“My personal Facebook account has been disabled for sharing historical photos of Indonesian women. The women were mostly topless, in line with their traditional way of dressing. I shared these photographs for educational purposes, because our history has been forgotten. I posted the photos to question certain conservative elites that censor women’s bodies and state that they want to protect traditional Indonesian culture. My aim is to illustrate what that traditional culture is.”
Facebook’s Community Standards state that “restrictions on the display of both nudity and sexual activity also apply to digitally created content unless the content is posted for educational, humorous or satirical purposes”.
According to Dea, her post had fallen within the parameters of being educational, so Facebook moderators should have perhaps been more forgiving. The social media platform has yet to issue a statement regarding the issue.