Thailand: deadline for Facebook to remove ‘illicit’ content passes

The government threatened Facebook last week with legal action unless it removed 131 illicit pages by 10 am local period on Tuesday morning

Thai internet providers say they are under pressure to immediately shut down better access to Facebook as a deadline lapsed for the social media giant to remove content, including posts critical of the monarchy.

The government threatened Facebook last week with legal action unless it removed 131 illicit pages by 10 am local period on Tuesday morning.

However, the Bangkok Post reported that the Thai Internet Service Provider Association( Tispa) may also detach better access to Facebooks servers.

It quoth an email purportedly transmitted from Tispa to the managing director of Facebook Thailand warning that if the company does not remove all 131 pages, concerned authorities will request that we shut down access to the site.

This action may affect the entire delivery services of www.facebook.com to patrons in Thailand, Tispa said in the email, according to the Bangkok Post.

The Guardian was unable to immediately corroborate research reports. Facebook was still accessible in Thailand on Tuesday after the deadline.

A Facebook spokesperson said it reviews requests by governments to restrict access to content.

When we receive such a request, we review it to determine if it sets us on notice of illegal content. 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 spokesman said.

The Thai government has not publicly released details of which posts it wants removed.
Several images and a video appearing to show the 64 -year-old Thai monarch wearing a crop top and covered in ornate tattoos have been published on social media during the past few weeks.

Facebook, which opened country offices in Thailand in 2015, is the biggest social network in the country.

The military-run administration briefly cut better access to Facebook after it launched a coup dtat on 22 May 22, 2014.

The royalist junta has dramatically ramped up online censorship, specially any posts or remark perceived to violate the countrys strict lse majest statutes, entailing royal insult.

Sensitivity to public criticism of royal affairs was increased after the much-loved former tycoon died in October and his son, Maha Vajiralongkorn, took power.

With each offence punishable by up to 15 years in jail, more than 105 charges have been raised during the juntas tenure, several of them related to sharing online posts.

Lse majest statutes force media operating in Thailand to often self-censor.

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