The European Journal of Humour Research

Vol 11, No 3 (2023)

Legal analysis of freedom of expression and online humour in Indonesia

Andryka Syayed Achmad Assagaf


This paper examines the issue of freedom of expression in relation to online humour, particularly in Indonesian law. Despite being an inherent individual right within the broad scope of freedom of expression, there is currently no clear demarcation line in Indonesian law to position humour as an integral aspect of this right and of entertainment. Consequently, forms of humour such as memes, parodies, and satire may potentially be considered as insulting due to the subjective nature of humour and the lack of a consistent interpretation. This legal uncertainty raises concerns about the protection of freedom of expression as a fundamental human right in the present era. Despite the protection granted by the Constitution and various laws, Indonesia’s legal framework does not explicitly define humour as a constituent of freedom of expression, thus leaving its interpretation to the discretion of the courts.


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