Facebook still accessible in Thailand despite government threat

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is seen on stage during a town hall at Facebook's headquarters in Menlo Park, California September 27, 2015. Picture taken February 27, 2015.  REUTERS/Stephen Lam/File Photo - RTX2K5PB

Credit: http://www.macleans.ca/society/until-a-i-replaces-us-we-all-work-for-facebook/

Facebook remains accessible to millions of users in Thailand after government in that country backtracked on threats to ban the social media website. The earlier threat came as a result of some videos that violate lese majeste laws, which prevent the country’s royal family from criticism.

Angered by the “illicit” posts as well as content, the government then issued a 10:00 am deadline, which expired today for the controversial pages to be blocked. However, TechCrunch reports that Facebook remains accessible to people in that country, while the controversial posts have not been blocked. People who violate this law could be jailed for 15 years for insulting monarchy.

In a statement per TechCrunch, Facebooks said:

When governments believe that something on the Internet violates their laws, they may contact companies like Facebook and ask us to restrict access to that content. When we receive such a request, it is scrutinized to determine if the specified content does indeed violate local laws. 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.”

Facebook’s statement is an indication that the company could still censor the controversial content. However, as at the time of writing this, the footage is still available on the popular social media network’s website.

The controversial footage shows King Maha Vajiralongkorn strolling around with a woman in Munich; and was widely publicized on the social network—with millions of people having access to it.

Facebook is not new to having issues with government in different countries. In 2010, the social media behemoth was blocked by the Saudi Arabian Communications and Information Technology Commission. An official of the Saudi Arabian commission said the move was because Facebook does not conform to conservative values held by the Middle Eastern kingdom.

The official from Saudi’s Communications and Information Technology Commission said that Facebook has “crossed a line” regarding the kingdoms moral principles.

Saudi Arabia’s religious leaders have been known to influence the country’s policies and the country is also known to strictly follow a strict interpretation of Islam.

However, the official from the kingdom’s Communications and Information Technology Commission said shortly after the decision was taken that blocking Facebook would only be a temporary measure until a better solution is developed. True to his word, the social media network was unblocked the same day the ban was placed.

The Press Buzz had reported at the time that sheiks do not like the social media networking site. In interviews, Facebook at that time was described as “a door of lust” and as “blasphemous and lascivious.”

Other countries that have either blocked or had issues with Facebook over some of its content include, Bangladeshi, Pakistan and China among others.

However, this has not in any way affected the company’s growth in terms of user-base. Facebook is currently the world’s largest social media network with 1.8 daily active user-base.


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Author: Ola Ric

Ola Ric is a professional tech writer. He has written and provided tons of published articles for professionals and private individuals. He is also a social commentator and analyst, with relevant experience in the use of social media services.

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