Indonesia's dating platform under fire for supporting polygamy

Despite polygamy being a legal custom in Indonesia, some citizens do not agree with the publicity the AyoPoligami dating website gets, while others question its relevance.

ayopoligami indonesia
Indonesian women hold a sign denouncing polygamy during a protest by a women's rights group in central Jakarta, 24 November 2000. An Indonesian businessman's bid to make polygamy easier was rejected by the country's constitutional court on Wednesday (Darren Whiteside/Reuters)

The nature of polygamy, or the practice of having more than one spouse at the same time, is not a widely accepted custom anywhere in the world unless a nation is predominantly populated by Islam believers. In Indonesia, a Muslim-majority country, a new polygamy website and application was launched early this year, sparking criticism from some citizens who do not support this Islamic custom.

AyoPoligami, loosely translated into English as "Let's do polygamy", is a dating platform which was first made available in Indonesia last April. It is a platform for married men to look for their soon-to-be wives. Indonesia allows up to four wives as long as the court permits and the wife grants.

Following controversies that some men on AyoPoligami are using fake accounts while others are giving misleading personal information, the app developer, Lindu Pranayama, decided to release an update on Thursday (5 October) to impose stricter policies. Men will be required to provide an identification card, marital status and their wives' permission letter.

Despite polygamy being a legal custom in Indonesia, some citizens do not agree with the publicity it gets, while others question its relevance. On Twitter, Indonesians voice out their concerns.

User Am Bintang (@ambintangpras) says, "After AyoPoligami came out, lust is more advanced than logic."

User named Fadilla Nuraini (@_fnuraini) says, "Out of AyoPoligami, sorry. Everything sells religion : (."

User Stevanie (@Stevanianatha) refers says, "There is Nikahsiri. There is AyoPoligami. The world is crazier now." Nikahsiri is another app dedicated for polygamists.

AyoPoligami is Android exclusive which now has more than 10,000 downloads. According to the developer, the majority of the users are men while about 4,000 women are on the platform. Indonesia current has 250 million population, of which more than 80 per cent are Muslim.

This article was first published on October 3, 2017