Indonesian news aggregator app Baca recently found itself in the middle of a controversy when netizens slammed the startup for using violent and pornographic content in an advertisement, an incident that ended up with the app disappearing from the Google Play Store.
Today, Baca COO Jimmy Sie finally revealed the story behind the incident.
According to him, the company is working with more than 30 digital marketing agencies to develop and execute advertisements, and that the indecent content was “beyond the company’s control” and approval.
“The digital marketing agencies had agreed with us that they would publish advertisements only with our consent. But in this case, the agreement was violated, drawing strong reactions from our users,” he said in a statement.
He added that the company is committed to putting stricter controls on the agencies it is working with, and that it has cut ties with those who had violated the agreement.
“We always try to build a conducive digital world … We never meant to intentionally publish indecent news, whether it is pornographic or violent. All news is being published in the right proportion, strictly adhering to norms and ethics,” he added.
Sie also explained that the app’s disappearance from Google Play Store was not just related to this episode but it also has something to do with some technical issues.
“We have talked to Google and explained the chronology and the facts behind the indecent ad case. As for the technical violation of Google’s policy, we duly received its instructions and have performed refinements in our app,” he said.
The startup stated that Google has republished the app on Play Store.
“We deeply apologised to every parties that have been wronged [by this incident]. We are going to do better to build a safer and more beneficial digital world for everyone,” Sie closed.