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Google Apologizes, Thailand Drops Lawsuit

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Quite a line was forming up, but it appears there’s now one less organization in the world that wants to sue YouTube; since the video-sharing site decided to take down clips in which the king of Thailand was insulted, the Thai government has dropped its criminal lawsuit.

Google Apologizes, Thailand Drops Lawsuit
Google Apologizes, Thailand Drops Lawsuit
Google Apologizes, Thailand Drops Lawsuit

The government had actually not yet filed the suit (which would have been filed in a Bangkok court), but it had enacted a ban on YouTube throughout Thailand.  As you can read in our previous coverage, the hubbub all goes back to a picture of the Thai king juxtaposed with the image of some feet.

Strangely, there was no indication that YouTube cared about Thai government’s reaction – this ban has been in place for over a month – until the news of a letter sent to Sitthichai Pokaiyaudom, Thailand’s Information and Communications Technology Minister, broke.

In the letter, Kent Walker, Vice President of Google, wrote that “he did not want Google to become a source of hostile feeling regarding the King’s video clips,” according to the Bangkok Post.  That is a fine sentiment, and yet backing down in this case will only reinforce the view of many that YouTube is not a strong defender of free speech.

Earthtimes.org, in fact, chose this occasion to pull out a rather damning statistic: “Increasing government censorship of websites was cited as one of the reasons Thailand was downgraded earlier this month to 127th place out of 195 countries on the Freedom House ranking of press freedom.”

It may be an instance of guilt by association for YouTube.

Google Apologizes, Thailand Drops Lawsuit
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  • Original Thai Girll

    Why do they have to apologize to thai govt?

    • Thaib

      Are you Thai??

      I’m sure you are not.

      or you don’t know anything.

    • Tasitasa.

      Google to cooperate China goverment to censor everything are China goverment want. For what? (Money.)
      Goolge to cooperate with Music studio,TV Stodio for delete clips for what? (Money)

      and Thailand goverment try to request to Google for delete all clips.

      But Google reject by reason of “Free speech”.

      What a different?

      What is bad?

      OK, I disagree with Thai gov for banned Youtube but If Thai gov must to do something for react.

      I thing you don’t understand How inportant between The King and Thai people.

      We have history. We have culture. We have today (The crountry, The land) because The King.

      I love King more than my life.

    • ???Kendall

      When you make someone feel bad (or insult for that matter), you apologize. By the first comment, the person who uses the nickname of Original Thai Girl is probably neither with the right mind nor kind heart.

      I believe when this thing initially gets started. The Thai government politely requested Google to delete that particular video clip from its server. It would not take that much effort to do so.However, Google had persisted, basing its argument on “freedom of speech.”

      Well, the matter has been into the court of laws. Google could no longer persist. Yes, ability to speak your mind out is very important. But would you tell a stranger or public for that matter that you have the ugliest face on the earth.

      I would probably not. However, OTG, you may do such as. Yes, we live in a society that free speech is very important, but do not forget that manner also exists.

      Cheer to Thai Government and its people.
      Warm heart to Google and its staff. Good job, Google – You still earn my support as an advertiser.

      …And finally several boo, boo, boo to a nasty person who dares to use Thai in her faked name.

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