Indonesian tech company Go-Jek under fire after vice president publicly promotes LGBT equality
Jakarta start-up Go-Jek has come out in support of LGBT+ equality, prompting several of its existing customers to urge others to stop using the ride-hailing and delivery app.
To commemorate National Coming Out Day on Thursday 11 October, the tech business took to Facebook to declare that it “is taking the diversity & inclusion matter to the next level by the adoption of a non-discrimination policy toward the underrepresented minority group” despite being an Indonesian company.
It also revealed that it was launching an internal campaign called #GOingALLin.
Explaining the campaign, the post – which was penned by Go-Jek Vice President of Operations and Business Development Brata Santoso – read: “By doing this also, we hope to build a more inclusive community.
“[We hope that it will] not only will go above and beyond to bridge differences but also embrace differences of any kind, be it gender race, religion, age, ancestry nationality sexual orientation, or any other characteristics protected by law.
It concluded the caption, with a short and sweet sentiment: “Here’s to a more loving GO-JEK.”
Santoso’s words were accompanied by several images that displayed how committed Go-Jek are about presenting such an inclusive image out into the world, depicting anything from a ‘Love is Love’ T-shirt to a rainbow flag that was being used as a way to advertise ice cream.
A screenshot captured by Twitter user Rio Damar also featured a quote from Go-Jek CEO and founder Nadiem Makarim. It candidly stated: “In my opinion, if you are intolerant of diversity, you don’t really belong in GO-JEK.”
Just a day after the post went viral, the hashtag #UninstallGojek began gaining traction on other social media platforms. Soon, people who strongly disagree with Go-Jek’s support of, and solidarity with, the LGBT+ community started sharing screenshots of them deleting the app from their phones.
Twitter user @newsplatter tried to encourage doubters to keep a level-head, as other companies share similar sentiments and they’re not likely to stop using those for good.
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“I respect those who want to #UninstallGojek,” they wrote. “That is everyone’s right. But I also want to remind them to uninstall Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and don’t use Apple either — because as far as I know all those brands support LGBT rights.”
In a surprising turn of events though, Go-Jek reacted to the backlash by sharing a statement on its Twitter account that claimed the original Facebook post did not represent the entire company but rather “a personal opinion and interpretation of one of Go-Jek’s employees about an internal event with the theme of diversity,” according to The Jakarta Post.
It went on to clarify that while it does show consideration for diversity, it also respects “Indonesian values and culture”. It appears as if the Facebook post has now been deleted.
Homosexuality is not illegal in Indonesia, unlike in other Southeast Asian nations. That being said, the country has seen a rise in anti-LGBT sentiment in recent years.