Junta asks Google and Youtube to block lèse majesté content

A deputy junta head has asked Google and YouTube to cooperate in blocking websites and videos with alleged lèse majesté content.

On 21 October 2016, Deputy Prime Minister ACM Prajin Junthong invited Ann Lavin, Director of Public Policy of Google’s Southeast Asia and Greater China office, for a meeting at Government House.

According to the Government House website, Prajin consulted with Lavin about ways to block websites and video clips deemed defamatory or offensive to the Thai Monarchy.

The Google CEO agreed to set up an ad hoc team in the US to monitor alleged lèse majesté content with Thai nationals in the team and adjust the complaint form in the Thai language to make it easier for Thai people to file complaints about such online content, the government added.

The team will operate from 22 October 2016 onwards.

The government will also set up a team in Thailand to send web addresses and URLs of people alleged to have posted such online content to the Google team after which the team will consider within 24 hours whether the content should be blocked.

The details of alleged lèse majesté content and court orders could be submitted to the Google team after the complaint is filed.  

The government media further reported that the Google official placed great importance on the case under the current circumstances after the recent death of King Bhumibol.

The Deputy Prime Minister added that the junta’s legal and technical teams will also consult with Line, a popular chat application in Thailand, and Facebook on this matter.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will send a request to the US to obtain information from Google about people who post lèse majesté content on the internet, Prajin said.

He added that on 19-20 October, 120 people, mostly Thais, reportedly posted online content deemed offensive to the Thai monarchy.

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