Home News Featured News How AyoPoligami became the most hated app among Indonesian women today

How AyoPoligami became the most hated app among Indonesian women today

AyoPoligami founder has temporarily shuts down its service for an "upgrade" as reports of sexual harassment begin to flood in




- Advertisement -

By e27

Controversial Indonesian dating app AyoPoligami announced on its site that it has temporarily shut down its service for an upgrade, promising its users that it will reopen on October 5.

Launched in early-2017, AyoPoligami described itself as a dating app that “connects male users to female users who are willing to start a ‘big family’ with just one husband.” Or, in other word, a dating app for married men to meet single women with the end goal of getting hitched, in accordance to the sharia way.

Like many other dating apps in the market, it also includes features such as messenger service that allows users to reach out directly to potential dates.

- Advertisement -

By early September, it has secured 10,000 downloads in Google Play Store.

Ever since its launch, the mobile app has brewed controversy among Indonesian netizens for its heavy promotion of poligamy.

Despite Indonesia being the world’s largest Muslim population, and poligamy being a common practice that is heavily regulated under the Islamic teachings, the app was condemned for facilitating men who wish to find a new wife while still being married.

Under Indonesian state law, a man would be allowed to take a second wife under the condition that the first wife is ill and that she had provided a written consent for the new marriage.

Also Read: An elitist dating app is stoking controversy in Singapore, but is the vitriol warranted?

The controversy grew when several netizens decided to go undercover and use the app to understand what it really is about.

Twitter user @adeirra tweeted about receiving “perverted” messages when she was using the app.

“He began by using flirtatious lines such as, ‘Would you like to sleep at the hotel with me?’ Maybe he spread those lines across AyoPoligami female population and awaiting reply,” she wrote, attaching a screenshot image of the conversation.

In her report, Magdalene intern writer Elma Adisya (who had also went undercover as an AyoPoligami user) pointed out that there is no approval mechanism for users to add other users as friends, and to start chatting with them.

She described having been approached by men who asked for her photo and admitted that their wives have no idea that they are using the app. These men cited long distance relationships and their wives’ inability to “match up” their sexual drive as the reasons why they are using the app; one man even asked Adisya if she would be willing to marry him in secret.

“I eventually deleted my account on the second night as I felt nauseated [by what I saw]. This AyoPoligami app, in my opinion, is a platform for men who want to justify their extra-marital affairs by using religious doctrines,” she wrote.

In an interview with Kumparan, AyoPoligami founder Lindu Cipta Pranayama admitted that the app’s model has made it easier for users to abuse it.

“When we first started out AyoPoligami, it was like any other social media platform. So we were positive thinking about it,” he said, indicating that he did not expect the harassment to happen on the AyoPoligami app.

” … I have sinned for letting such things happened on the platform,” he added.

Pranayama then explained that the company is currently developing a user registration system that will oblige new users to provide valid ID card and a moderated chat feature.

Also Read: Chinese lesbian dating app Rela shuts down, sparks concern of govt censorship

Religion as a marketing strategy

Sexism aside, AyoPoligami has also been criticised due to its perceived use of religion as a tool to promote a business.

In 2016, the Global Islamic Economy Report announced that worldwide spending on global halal food and lifestyle products could rise 10.8 per cent a year until 2019, creating an international industry worth US$3.7 trillion.

In Indonesia, various brands — from chocolate milk to detergent soap — use a more “Islamic” packaging in order to attract buyers.

On August 31, Startupwati (an anonymous Twitter account known for leaking gossips and insights about Indonesian startup community) leaked a screenshot image of a Whatsapp group conversation, allegedly involving Pranayama.

In the conversation, the user named “AyoPoligami.com Lindu” can be seen sharing a link to the Magdalene report with the comment, “Now it has reached 7,000. Commercialisation of religion is kind of cool.”

The report led netizens to speculate that AyoPoligami has knowingly and purposely used religion as a mean to make profit.

Startupwati later tweeted that the user has been “kicked out” from the Whatsapp group.

e27 is reaching out to Pranayama for comments.

Republished with permission from e27.co

Send in your scoop to news@theindependent.sg 

- Advertisement -

Almost 8 out of 10 vote PN can’t survive GE 15 without UMNO

Almost eight out of 10 respondents on a Twitter survey voted that Bersatu will not survive GE-15 without UMNO, according to BFM radio survey held this morning (22/2/2021) during its Morning Run programme. Of the 206 voters (respondents) in the final countdown,...

Foodpanda rider called “Blur Sotong” by netizen

Singapore — A Foodpanda rider shared his unfortunate experience with a customer. He took to Facebook on Saturday morning (Feb 20), sharing screenshots of the conversation. Posted by Chan Okada SJ on Friday, 19 February 2021 The rider shared that the customer had asked...

Journalist claims Karen Mok is the only woman Stephen Chow has ever thought of marrying

Hong Kong -- Last year, comedian Stephen Chow's public and ugly legal battle with his former girlfriend over their finances gave a rare peek into the personal life of the fiercely private 58-year-old. It was reported that out of all the women...

Send in your scoop to news@theindependent.sg