Thailand is a country which is pretty sensitive about its king and the monarchy. The authorities of the country have issued a warning to the social media giant to remove all “illicit” content by next Tuesday. According to news site RT, the illicit content includes a video of the king wearing a crop top and all posts critical of the monarchy.
Thailand could press charges against Facebook if action is not taken by Tuesday
The news site notes that the people who violate the country’s law and post critical comments on the monarchy are prosecuted by law. The social networking site blocked users located in Thailand last week from accessing video of King Maha Vajiralongkorn. The video featured the 64-year old ruler wearing a yellow crop top which showed several tattoos on his stomach, arms, and back. The ruler can be seen walking around a shopping wall with a young woman in the footage.
The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) claims that there are still 131 pages available even when the tech giant has already complied with the request of the Thai government and restricted access to 178 of the 309 pages with the “illicit” video.
The social media giant has been given a deadline to remove the remainder pages now – 10am local time next Tuesday morning. According to reports by several media sources, Takorn Tantasith, secretary-general of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, “If even a single illicit page remains, we will immediately discuss what legal steps to take against Facebook Thailand.”
Thailand not taking this matter lightly
Thailand has promised to take action against the social media giant if the company does not remove the pages by Tuesday and we expect the country to take action as it is quite strict when it comes to the monarchy.
The reports by Bangkok Post say that tech giant has not explained why the videos are still on the social media platform. A Facebook spokesman who earlier refused to comment told the Bangkok Post via email that the social media giant is reviewing the requests of the government to restrict access to content said to violate local laws.
He said, “If we determine that it does, then we make it unavailable in the relevant country or territory and notify people who try to access it why it is restricted.” Takorn added the Thai Ministry of Digital Economy and Society would press charges against Facebook Thailand and its partners. Dhiraphol Suwanprateep, the head of IT/Communications Practice Group at Baker & McKenzie, said in an interview to the Bangkok Post that if the regional unit “was registered as a separate entity, it cannot be sued since it has no power to control illegal [Facebook] content.”