Government orders social media companies to block more websites deemed offensive


The Minister of Digital Economy and Society says his ministry is asking social media companies to block access to content that breaches Thailand’s Computer Crimes Act. Buddhipongse Punnakanta has confirmed that court orders are in place to block over 1,000 links said to contain offensive content. Of those, 661 can be found on Facebook, 289 on You Tube, and 69 on Twitter. Buddhipongse says he’s confident social media platforms will cooperate.

Earlier this week, Facebook was forced to block access to a group deemed offensive to the Monarchy. The social media giant subsequently came in for criticism from Amnesty International, with the human rights organisation accusing it of caving in to an authoritarian regime. There has been some speculation that Facebook plans to mount a legal challenge to the government’s order, but Buddhipongse says his ministry has not been notified of such a move.

While admitting he’s not familiar with the legalities of a foreign-based company initiating proceedings against the Thai government, he says Facebook has always complied with requests to remove content in the past, and he does not believe the company will take legal action.

Thai PBS World reports that when asked about the possibility of Facebook reneging on its plans to invest in Thailand, the minister said foreign companies are free to invest where they like. He points out, however, that countries which strictly enforce their laws may prove more favourable to investors.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Maya Taylor

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