Tara, a 28-year-old lesbian, likes using the app Line because a lot of Chinese-Indonesians use it.
Tara also uses the app Her because, even though straight and gay men use it, most of the users are lesbians and bisexual women.
Online dating apps are also used to meet like-minded people, to form communities, and to disseminate information about sexual and reproductive health.
The woman ended up staying at Emilio’s house and introduced him to Wapa.One gay man in Bali explained that ‘we all just use Tinder now [because the other apps are banned] and there’s no way that the politicians are going to ban it’. Emilio, a 22-year-old trans man who works as a barista in an international food hall, says he likes using Wapa because it’s simple and has a feature called ‘who’s tracking me’ that lets you know who is looking at your profile.Emilio also likes Wapa because it’s Jakarta specific.Blocking the apps means that when people try to use them, empty profiles are loaded and no photos or links can be accessed.While the Police Criminal Investigation Agency (Bareskrim) asked the Ministry of Information to block these apps on the specific – but spurious – grounds that they were being used by paedophiles to pimp teenage boys out to men, it is important to recognise that such moves come on the back of the anti-LGBT crisis plaguing Indonesia since January 2016.Not everyone uses a dating app to hook up with someone for casual sex.