YouTube Censorship in Thailand

    April 9, 2007

Reuters writes:

YouTube will help Thailand block access to pages that contain clips offensive to its revered monarch instead of blacking out the whole site, a cabinet minister said on Friday.

Communications Minister Sitthichai Pookaiyaudom told Reuters the idea came during a phone call with a California-based government liason officer of Google Inc, which owns YouTube.

The site had refused to pull out a clip insulting King Bhumibol Adulyadej, which led the military-backed government on Thursday to entirely block access to it.

“He said pulling out those clips would not be an effective way to stop the damage, since users could re-post them again,” said Sitthichai, referring to Google officer Andrew McLaughlin.

“He said a more effective way would be to block certain pages not to be seen in Thailand,” he said

Interesting to see Google employees consulting government officials on the most effective ways to block certain content. Then again, I don’t think YouTube ever promised the world objectivity, or lack of editorial decisions. Google/ YouTube wasn’t available for comment so far.

[Thanks Juha-Matti Laurio in the forum!]