Reporter: Prim Kamolyabutr September 2nd 2020
Facebook plans for legal action after the Thai government forced it to block a group from content relating to Thailand's monarchy.
Facebook team has said that they have deemed content that Thai people have been posting to be “illegal”. They state that they were compelled by the Thai government to prevent accessing users in Thailand from featuring posts about the Thai royal family. A Facebook spokesperson said in a statement to CNN - "We work to protect and defend the rights of all internet users and are preparing to legally challenge this request." Facebook says that the Thai government has been putting them under pressure to restrict certain political speeches, thoughts and ideas which threatens the representatives of Facebook based in Thailand.
Thailand has very strict laws especially when it comes to the monarchy. Under the Thai law that has been used as a political tool - if the King, Queen, heir or any member of the royal family has been defamed, then the person who caused it will face a 15 year jail sentence. Despite that, in the past 5 days, thousands of protesters have taken to the streets in Bangkok demanding reform and change in the country's monarchy and system.
On Tuesday, Prayut Chan-o-cha, Thailand’s Prime Minister defended the actions of the government and continued to further the action on the Royalist Marketplace to be blocked and threatened legal action against facebook if not seen otherwise. "Thailand has its own laws and everyone has to respect the laws of each country," he said.
This has been the only information of this legal action so far however it has made Facebook authorities all over the world start issues and clash. They are facing multiple complaints from other countries such as India parliamentary scrutiny, the United State’s Donald Trump campaigns and more that spark hate speech rules and further controversy on the ongoing issue surrounding social media.
Iyengar, Rishi. “Facebook Prepares Legal Action against Thai Government's Order to Block Group.” CNN, Cable News Network, 25 Aug. 2020, www.edition.cnn.com/2020/08/24/tech/facebook-blocks-thailand-group/index.html.