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Thailand unbanned YouTube after 5 months

After nearly four months, the Thai government has lifted the ban on Google’s YouTube as the management of the Web site has finally agreed to block all videos that violate the country’s laws or are deemed offensive to the Thai people. The access to YouTube was blocked on April 4, after Google turned down Thailand’s request to delete the ‘insulting’ 44-second ‘offensive’ video clip. The video clip in question showed grainy pictures of Thailand’s most revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world’s longest reigning monarch, with a pair of shoes with soles pointed towards the king’s face.

The clip was considered a case of ‘lese majeste’ or insulting the monarchy, which in Thailand is a serious crime with offenders liable to punishment of up to 15 years of imprisonment. At the time, Google removed the original offensive content from YouTube. However more and more such ‘mocking’ videos continued to appear on the site, creating a brouhaha of sorts. Finally now, YouTube has agreed on blocking clips breaking Thai laws, including sweeping legislations prohibiting comments deemed as ‘offensive’ to the monarchy. Meanwhile, video clips banned in Thailand will continue to be available to Internet users in other parts of the world. Additionally, Thai government officials have created a program for blocking all sensitive video content from being accessed within the country. Damn, can you imagine 5 months without YouTube?

Comments

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  1. September 1st, 2007 | 16:53

    If for this kind of videos YouTube gets banned in one country, then I believe than YouTube should be banned of all the entire world, i believe than a video insulting George Bush or insulting USA or any other country or people wouldn’t be too hard to find.

    Btw, that goes for China, too, unblock the internet. (No flaming intention)

  2. kph59
    September 1st, 2007 | 16:53

    5 Months? Not like people even use computers over there anyways

    First :P

  3. kph59
    September 1st, 2007 | 16:54

    Damn… never mind

  4. o71g
    September 1st, 2007 | 17:00

    I lived in Thailand for the last 3 years, they shutdown web radio stations, web sites and forums etc because they didn’t agree with the current goverment (Thaksin). If Google are going to bow down again then this just means the Thai people will be controlled more than ever.
    We are not living in a free world!!!!

    The king has already commented to the Thai people that people should have the right to voice their appinions of him without worring about being arrested. Ofcourse the Thai government disagree.

  5. Jerome
    September 1st, 2007 | 17:10

    amazing how serious world goverments take youtube… realy fucking amazing

  6. duncan
    September 1st, 2007 | 18:26

    I discovered this when the Youtube feeds showed up in one of the websites I visit showed up.

    Grief it’s been annoying. Yeah it’s a bit censored here, just like any other country… we’ve got a dictatorship, though they aren’t that bad and decent free speech is coming back.

    Unfortunately the governments here do often think they need to patronise the general population…. but at the same time in other ways you’re much freer here than in other countries, so don’t be too quick to judge.

  7. andrew
    September 1st, 2007 | 19:34

    my girlfriend is Thai and she ALWAYS bitches about the Thai government. It is quite corrupt and the place has the feel of a socialist state at times when it comes to government work. Nobody in government really cares for the people, they just want to get paid the little money they receive and not do too much work. The Thai government should definitely loosen its laws and promote a freer society.

  8. mars_in_scorpio
    September 1st, 2007 | 19:51

    congratulations Thailand!

  9. Tyrant
    September 1st, 2007 | 20:11

    A not-so-funny thing is that the guy in charge of the Ministry for Information and Communication Technology (appointed by the military) doesn’t even like to use the internet and it was his decision to ban YouTube.

  10. hegehog
    September 1st, 2007 | 20:43

    Why don’t the people of Thailand just elect a new king?

  11. legacy
    September 1st, 2007 | 21:10

    i am from thailand! fucking proxys got past this shit!

  12. sio
    September 1st, 2007 | 21:30

    hegehog, are you really that fucking stupid?

  13. SuperMovieFan
    September 1st, 2007 | 22:31

    “Damn, can you imagine 5 months without YouTube?”

    Yes. There’s nothing worth watching on Youtube.

  14. Todd McF
    September 2nd, 2007 | 00:01

    @6: a bit vcensored, eh?? that’s what your gov feeds you with? litlle pill, hahaha.

    you are really brainwashed.

    and tell europeans about censorship of the internet. they gonna have a good laugh (especially scandinavians)

  15. a
    September 2nd, 2007 | 01:47

    what’s brouhaha?

  16. Leeroy
    September 2nd, 2007 | 02:08

    Even pointing your feet at a monk or a buddha-statue is an absolut no-no over there, the feet are considered a “dirty” part of the body. The Thai people love their king very much, and would never approve of someone pointing their feet at him (well, most of them I guess). There are a couple of other rules like that. It seems the king himself doesn’t care too much about these rules, as he encourages people to freely express opinions.

    So does the government think the Thais could be influenced by this clip? Would you feel “inspired” if you saw a clip of someone throwing feces at someone you really like? Stupid decision to ban youtube in the first place imo, this only made the clip more famous.

  17. September 2nd, 2007 | 03:12

    As i don’t want to see on YouTube a Neo-Nazism’s videos, as i don’t want to see offensive video on Thailand.
    I do agree with the ban, Wish my country do the same… :(

  18. metropolis
    September 2nd, 2007 | 07:53

    I live in thailand, but i always access Youtube via proxy (it was blocked at ISP level)
    In thailand insult king is violation law and people who belove king.

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  20. Ian
    September 2nd, 2007 | 11:37

    And in other news, you are now allowed to chew gum in Singapore.

  21. ThaiFan
    September 2nd, 2007 | 16:37

    Good news to hear that YouTube has finally been allowed public in Thailand again. I am going there on holiday in about one weeks time, and I am really looking forward to that :-)

    #19 is one of the first SPAMs Ive seen here on RLSLOG.
    Some editor should delete it!!!

  22. September 2nd, 2007 | 16:42

    RE: Above

    LOL. Good one. :)

  23. September 2nd, 2007 | 16:43

    Dammit,

    *RE: 19*

  24. duncan
    September 3rd, 2007 | 08:28

    @14

    Yes a little bit censored… it’s a country with many laws that are often enforced in a very relaxed manor.
    Infact they’re often more guidelines that allow the enforcement of acceptable behaviour whilst actually allowing you the leeway to get around the rules if your not causing any trouble.

    I’d say individuals have greater real freedom than in the US where they do have a rather crazy secretive president… here everyone accepts the fact that the wealthy are a corrupt bunch of bastards and plans their lives around it instead of kidding themselves they live in some idealistic land of the free.

  25. ILoveThailand
    September 5th, 2007 | 20:24

    I am from Thailand here. I am really happy that youtube.com is finally unbanned. But after knowing the reason of why it was banned. I do totally agree with what the government did upto certain extent i.e. instead of requesting/removing specific link to certain video but they have chose to ban an entire domain. Out here in Thailand people love the king from the heart.

    Long Live The King!

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