Thailand suing Facebook over video of crop top-wearing king

Posted May 17, 2017

Thailand wouldn't be the first to block access to Facebook if local authorities eventually decide to shut down the platform: Eight countries have banned the platform, most notably China, although the country has a local version. In a change of tactic, Mr Takorn said officials had forwarded 34 court orders to Facebook so far.

After an ultimatum had passed Tuesday for Facebook to act on censorship demands, telecommunication regulators admitted that necessary court orders hadn't actually been obtained before threatening the social media giant with criminal action last week.

The latest step in Thailand's Facebook crackdown follows last month's decision to officially outlaw Thai citizens from following, contacting or sharing content produced by outspoken government critics Somsak Jeamteerasakul, Pavin Chachavalpongpun and Andrew MacGregor Marshall, all of whom live outside Thailand.

The Thai Government has backed down on a threat to close Facebook in the kingdom if the company failed to remove pages considered offensive to the monarchy.

The king, who succeeded his father last December, has had a colourful personal life, although the severe lese-majeste law makes any discussion of the monarchy impossible inside Thailand.

"If, after careful legal review, we find that the content is illegal under local law we restrict it as appropriate and report the restriction in our Government Request Report", Facebook has said in past statements outlining its policy.

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King Bhumibol Adulyadej died previous year aged 88. TISPA said that the social networking website will not remove any content until it received a proper legal order to do so. For instance, Facebook was ordered to block access in May 2014 following a coup by the militant.

"All we can do is ask for cooperation from foreign countries, the private sector and Internet service providers", the premier said. Search warrants for Facebook Thailand may also be obtained.

A huge problem between Thailand and Facebook has been created after the video that has been uploaded by unknown users to the popular social networking platform.

Since ultra-royalist generals seized power three years ago more than 100 people have been charged, many for comments made online, and some people have been jailed for decades.

"Should Facebook comply with the requests with the Thai Government, Facebook will face a serious outcome, this will go against the main principle in the first days when they talk about the free flow of information", he said.