Tags: thailand | king | facebook | crop top

Thailand King on Facebook: Crop Top Pics Spark Showdown Between Govt, Social Site

Image: Thailand King on Facebook: Crop Top Pics Spark Showdown Between Govt, Social Site

Thailand's King Vajiralongkorn is seen paying respects at the statue of King Rama I after signing the military-backed constitution in Bangkok on April 6, 2017.  (Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 17 May 2017 05:50 AM

Thailand's Facebook servers remain on — for now — after the social network faced pressure from the country's government to take down video clips and images of someone resembling the king walking through a shopping mall in a crop top.

Facebook came under pressure from the Thai government Tuesday to delete "dozens of pages" from its servers, the latest in an apparent shutdown of online free speech by the military junta that took control of the country in 2014, The New York Times reported.

The Guardian suggested that many of the posts the government wanted taken down included comments critical of the Thai monarchy. The country does, after all, have a strict lèse-majesté law, which makes it a crime to insult the king.

The country's Digital Economy and Society Ministry agreed to halt plans to block Facebook access there after the social media giant agreed to take down more of the questioned posts pointed out by the ministry, according to the Bangkok Post.

Takorn Tansathit, secretary-general of Thailand's National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, told the Bangkok Post that Facebook had blocked 178 of the 309 posts the ministry wanted by last Friday.

"We found Facebook did not block the remaining 131 posts because it has yet to receive the original court orders to block them," Tansathit said, according to the Post. "That's why Facebook didn't block all the posts by 10 a.m. on Tuesday . . . After Facebook received the original court orders; it blocked them within 24 hours."

The Post said that ministry had planned to send court orders to remove another 34 posts on Facebook Tuesday.

"We should be able to block all the illicit posts by this month," Tansathit stated, according to the Bangkok Post.

A Facebook representative told The Guardian that the social media company reviews all requests by governments asking to restrict access to content.

"When we receive such a request, we review it to determine if it puts us on notice of unlawful content," the Facebook representative told The Guardian. "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."

The government has not released information on the questionable content but The Guardian pointed out several images and a video that appear to show Thai king Maha Vajiralongkorn wearing a crop top and covered in tattoos on social media in recent weeks.

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Thailand's Facebook servers remain on — for now — after the social network faced pressure from the country's government to take down video clips and images of someone resembling the king walking through a shopping mall in a crop top.
thailand, king, facebook, crop top
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2017-50-17
Wednesday, 17 May 2017 05:50 AM
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