Thailand is the First Government to Implement Twitter’s Censorship Feature
Thailand has taken up the option for Twitter to have tweets being viewed from the country censored. Authorities in the country publicly endorsed Twitter Censorship with the ICT Permanent Secretary, Jeerawan Boonperm, telling the Bangkok Post that it was a ”welcome development”.
The government also confirmed that it is getting ”good cooperation” from Facebook and Google but it will soon be contacting Twitter to begin collaborating on the new feature.
Thailand’s lèse-majesté law bans criticism of the country’s royal family. The law gained popularity because of of the blockage of YouTube in 2006 till when the offending videos were removed from the site was YouTube access allowed in Thailand.
Meanwhile, Thailand’s Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology requested Google to remove 225 YouTube videos for allegedly insulting the royal family.
In 2011, Mallika Boonmetrakul, deputy spokeswoman of the Thailand’s Democrat Party, tried to lobby for an all-out block on Western social media sites, claiming that the China was a good model to follow. The campaign did not succeed. Thailand has jailed number of its citizens for posting messages on Facebookt. An example was a 61 year old man who got a 20 year prison sentence for sending SMS messages. There was also a case of a dual Thai / US citizen who was jailed for two and a half years for translating a banned book about the king into Thai.