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YouTube Tossed Out Of Thailand

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In September of 2006, the elected government of Thailand was overthrown.  In April of 2007, YouTube was shown the door.  That’s right – YouTube has (yet again) been banned in an entire country.

YouTube Tossed Out Of Thailand
YouTube Tossed Out Of Thailand
YouTube Tossed Out Of Thailand

The Thai government apparently took issue with a video criticizing its king; as described by Reuters, the clip featured “a series of altered images of the King . . . .  The most offensive was the juxtaposition of a pair of woman’s feet, the lowest part of the body to Thai Buddhists, above his head, the highest part of the body.”

Such insults are considered legal transgressions in Thailand, but, since it’s hard to jail a corporation, YouTube was only banned when it chose not to remove the video.  This decision hasn’t won the Thai government many accolades.

The Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA) even made an official statement on the matter.  “While lese majeste is a culturally sensitive matter in Thailand, SEAPA views the blocking of the whole site – which is used by thousands in Thailand to express ideas and exchange information – with serious concern.  Thais are now deprived of a popular and accessible medium that can accommodate alternative and independent voices.”

Of course, based on YouTube’s behavior in Brazil and Turkey, it may just be a matter of time before the company gives in.  If that should happen, the minister of the Information and Communications Technology Ministry assured Reuters that all will be forgiven.

“When they decide to withdraw the clip, we will withdraw the ban,” said Sitthichai Pookaiyaudom.

That arrangement would still leave YouTube at a distinct disadvantage, hoping and praying that no one else pictured the Thai king’s head near a pair of feet.

YouTube Tossed Out Of Thailand
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