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Thailand backs off threat to block Facebook over content

Thailand backs off threat to block Facebook over content

An incredibly weird video of Thailand's king might see Facebook blocked in the country.

"Yesterday we got court orders for removing 34 URLs and Facebook needed more detail and all the official court document in order to proceed", he told the media.

Thailand has backed off a threat to block Facebook in the country, instead serving the social media site with court orders to remove content that the government deems illegal. Thailand slid six places to 142 out of 180 countries in the 2017 World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders.

Last week, Facebook blocked access to 178 pages in Thailand, including a video of the Thai King walking around a shopping mall in Munich dressed in a crop top with a female friend, after the country's courts ruled they were in violation of the Kingdom's strict laws on insulting the monarchy, known as lèse-majesté.

Thailand's lèse-majesté laws - which state that any person who "defames, insults or threatens the king, the queen, the heir-apparent or the regent" will face up to 15 years in prison - put Facebook in a hard position.

Thailand ferociously enforces a draconian lese majeste law which outlaws any criticism of the monarchy.

"If the relevant Thai authorities find any illegal content from www.facebook.com in our system concerned authorities will request that we shut down the CDN of www.facebook.com", TIPSA said in a statement.

While this is the first-known video of the king dressed that way, he has in the past been photographed wearing a similar crop top and is known for his jetsetting ways.

Thailand officially entered its one-year period of mourning in October following the death of beloved King Bhumibol after he reigned for more than seven decades, one of the longest reigning monarchs in history.

Thai authorities have previously said they have asked Google - which also owns YouTube - and other major web giants to delete pages on the royal family.

There are approximately 41 million Facebook users in Thailand as of June 30, 2016.

Marshall then posted it to his Facebook page, triggering the firestorm of protests in Thailand.

The Thai Internet Service Provider Association said last night that it was under government pressure to shut down all access to Facebook as early as today, unless the changes are made, according to The Bangkok Post.

The threat prompted a flurry of concern in the Southeast Asian country - one of the most Facebook-active countries in Asia - that the social network would be blocked.

Thai authorities try to take pre-emptive action against material they consider illegal, having local internet service providers block access or reaching agreements with some online services such as YouTube to bar access to certain material.


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