Thailand backs off threat to block Facebook over content

Thailand backs off threat to block Facebook over content

Instead, the military Government has been sending requests to Facebook to remove specific content that may breach lese majesty laws.

Despite geoblocking the images from the country, Thai authorities aren't happy that a reported 131 pages containing the "illicit" video are still available and they want them gone.

"If Facebook ignores the request, then I guess the government will prove to the public that it is serious about this - expect more arrests of those who follow me".

The Thai Internet Service Provider Association, or TISPA, said that the government has been putting huge pressure on them to shut down all access to Facebook as it did not take down the mentioned posts yet.

Thai authorities Tuesday backed down on their threat to ban Facebook over posts deemed critical of the royal family after officials said the social networking giant had agreed to expunge such content.

Thai regulator NBTC (National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission) noted that of the 309 posts that the government had deemed illegal, Facebook had complied in removing 178 of them.

The published policies of Facebook specify that it will only obey nation's request for the removal of a particular content until it is accompanied by a proper court order.

Thailand's strict lese majeste law makes it illegal to insult any member of the royal family, with those convicted facing a maximum prison sentence of 15 years.

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Facebook's own Government Requests report shows that 50 "pieces of content" were restricted in accordance with requests from the Thai Ministry of Information and Communication Technology for 2016, with 40 of them occurring in the second half of the year.

The monarch is the only son of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who died a year ago at the age of 88.

Vajiralongkorn does not enjoy his father's level of popularity and has spent much of his life overseas, particularly in Germany.

Media inside Thailand must heavily self censor when reporting on the monarchy, making it perilous to detail what content has angered the authorities.

King Maha Vajiralongkorn was filmed in a mall in Munich on June 10 previous year before ascending the throne, and the video footage was posted online on May 6.

In a change of tactic, Takorn said that Thailand had forwarded 34 court orders to Facebook so far.

The Thai government closed almost 7,000 web pages since 2015 and ordered internet service providers to close 600 Facebook pages.

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