Thai­land backs down on FB ban

New Straits Times - - World -

BANGKOK: Thai au­thor­i­ties yes­ter­day backed down on their threat to ban Face­book over posts deemed crit­i­cal of the royal family af­ter of­fi­cials said the so­cial net­work­ing gi­ant had agreed to ex­punge such con­tent.

Thai­land fe­ro­ciously en­forces a dra­co­nian lese ma­jeste law that out­laws criticism of the monar­chy.

Since ul­tra-roy­al­ist gen­er­als seized power three years ago, more than 100 peo­ple have been charged, many for com­ments made online, and some have been jailed for decades.

Au­thor­i­ties re­dou­bled ef­forts to purge the Thai web fol­low­ing the Oc­to­ber as­cen­sion of the new king, Maha Va­ji­ra­longkorn.

Last week, Thai­land’s tele­com reg­u­la­tor, NBTC, said it would file a po­lice com­plaint against Face­book’s Thai­land of­fice and shut down the hugely pop­u­lar site if it did not, by yes­ter­day, re­move more than 130 “il­le­gal” posts.

“Face­book is co­op­er­at­ing with Thai­land,” Takorn Tan­t­a­sith, sec­re­tary-gen­eral of NBTC said af­ter the 10am dead­line passed. AFP

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