Thailand warns Facebook to block content critical of the monarchy

Thailand warns Facebook to block content critical of the monarchy

Thailand warns Facebook to block content critical of the monarchy

Written by Ranee Mohamed

12 May, 2017 | 12:13 pm

Authorities in Thailand have warned Facebook to take down content critical of the monarchy, or face legal action.The social media giant has been given until next Tuesday to remove more than 130 items from pages viewable in Thailand.

Facebook says it does consider requests from governments to block material, and will comply if it breaks local laws.

Any comment critical of the monarchy can result in prosecution under Thailand’s strict lese-majeste law.

Those convicted face long prison sentences.

Thailand’s military government that seized power in Thailand in 2014 has made great efforts to suppress any criticism of the monarchy.Thousands of websites have been blocked, and people caught sharing, or even liking Facebook posts deemed unflattering to the monarchy have been prosecuted.

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission told the BBC that Facebook had already co-operated in blocking some pages, but that more than 130 judged to be illegal remained visible in Thailand.

Last year, the country’s deputy prime minister said Google agreed to co-operatewith the removal of online content insulting Thailand’s monarchy.

The US internet company said it was following its existing policies on content removal.

“When we are notified of content that is illegal through official processes, we will restrict it in the country where it’s illegal after a thorough review,” Google said at the time.

Up to 15 years in prison

Thailand’s lese-majeste laws are intended to protect the most senior members of Thailand’s royal family from insult or threat.

Article 112 of the country’s criminal code says anyone who “defames, insults or threatens the king, the queen, the heir-apparent or the regent” will be punished with up to 15 years in prison.

Courtesy: BBC

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