JUNE 13, 2017 – Nearly all Facebook pages and YouTube videos ordered by a Thai court to be shut down over royal insults and other “inappropriate” content have been blocked, Thai authorities said on Tuesday.
“Web pages with alleged royal insults were among a total of 965 pages deemed illegal, with others containing violence, copyright issues and other inappropriate content,.
“Among the 965 pages, 569 of them were on Facebook and 373 on YouTube.
“Although nearly 100 per cent has been blocked, the NBTC has instructed ISPs [internet service providers] to keep monitoring online content,’’ Takorn Tantasith, Secretary-General, National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) said.
Thailand’s strict lese-majesty law prohibits criticism and insults toward the royal family, with perpetrators facing years of imprisonment, if found guilty.
Since taking power in a May 2014 coup, the royalist military government has intensified a crackdown on lese-majesty violations.
More than 100 people have been arrested for alleged lese-majesty offences since the military takeover.
Most of them were detained for making comments or sharing posts on Facebook.
On Friday, a Thai man was sentenced to 35 years in prison for posts he made on Facebook, the longest sentence till date.
In early May, Thai internet providers sent a request to Facebook chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg and the company’s managing director in Thailand, to block pages and posts deemed in violation of Thai laws.
Facebook confirmed that it is making pages and posts unavailable in Thailand on the junta’s request.