Still blocked, still unacceptable

A good article about the continued censorship of YouTube (Taksin’s mouthpiece) by the Thai Juanta (unelected government).

The YouTube block remains. But of far more concern to Thais who want to see a return to democracy is the regime’s blocking or intimidation of Thailand-based Web sites that provide a forum for political discussion. The YouTube affair has drawn greater public attention to the information ministry’s Internet calling card — an Orwellian emblem in the shape of an eye, which is superimposed on blocked sites.

In Thailand, freedom of speech was guaranteed by the country’s popular 1997 constitution. Unfortunately, it was ripped up by the coup leaders who condemned it as too weak to protect the nation from despots. Many opponents of the creeping censorship in Thailand argue that government agencies are acting illegally in blocking Internet sites. Cynics say that’s why the Computer-Related Offenses Commission Act is being drafted.

On another way to look at this, Sitthichai Pookaiyaudom guilty of les majeste? Due to his ban of the video, the total views reached 66,553 before the video was pulled. Had the and the minister of information and technology silently banned the single video, they might not have caused so many to see it. However an all out ban has now cause the search terms “youtube banned thailand” to return over 1,000,000 hits in Google and over 900 news stories worldwide.

One response to “Still blocked, still unacceptable”

  1. I think the only answer is Youtube self-censorship. Unfortunately there are high admin costs involved, so whereas Google will self-censor for the big China market I’m not sure that Youtube is willing to do the same for Thailand.

    They pulled videos in the past after Youtube was banned in Turkey, so there is a precedent.

    Otherwise it’ll be no Youtube, methinks, for a long while (except via proxies, of course).

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