Thailand to charge Facebook, Twitter for content violation | Tech News

Thailand to charge Facebook, Twitter for content violation

Digital Economy Minister Buddhipongse Punnakanta filed a complaint against Facebook, Twitter after the companies failed to meet a 15-day deadline to fully comply with the government’s order to remove “inappropriate posts”.

By:BLOOMBERG
| Updated on: Aug 20 2022, 23:12 IST
Buddhipongse and the police didn’t elaborate on the content in breach of the local laws, but authorities have in recent months targeted accounts and posts on social media that criticised and insulted the monarchy, considered a crime in Thailand. 
Buddhipongse and the police didn’t elaborate on the content in breach of the local laws, but authorities have in recent months targeted accounts and posts on social media that criticised and insulted the monarchy, considered a crime in Thailand.  (REUTERS)

Thailand moved a step closer to pressing charges against social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter for non-compliance of request to take down content in breach of the nation's strict computer crimes law.

Digital Economy Minister Buddhipongse Punnakanta filed a complaint against the social media platforms with the cyber crimes unit of Bangkok police on Thursday after the companies failed to meet a 15-day deadline to fully comply with the government's order to remove “inappropriate posts”.

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Buddhipongse and the police didn't elaborate on the content in breach of the local laws, but authorities have in recent months targeted accounts and posts on social media that criticised and insulted the monarchy, considered a crime in Thailand. In August, Facebook said it planned to legally challenge the Thai government's request to block access to a private group critical of the nation's monarchy.

The ministry also plans to request removal of pornography, and contents violating laws on narcotics, copyrights and the monarchy, the minister said.

Daily fine

The social media platforms can be fined 200,000 baht ($6,327) for each post in violation of the local rules and an additional 5,000 baht for each day after the 15-day deadline, Buddhipongse said. Facebook closed 225 links out of 661 requested by the authorities and Twitter has closed 5 out of 69, while YouTube has closed all of the 289 links requested, Buddhipongse said.

A representative from Facebook in Singapore said she couldn't immediately comment about the complaint, and spokespeople at Twitter and YouTube weren't immediately available.

Also Read: Facebook blocks group that discusses Thai monarchy

Thailand is using the Computer Crime Act amended in 2017 against the platforms for the first time, Buddhipongse said, adding that during an anti-government protest last weekend, five people may have violated rules protecting the monarchy on Facebook and Twitter.

An escalating anti-government protest movement has busted long-held taboos in Thailand about publicly criticizing the monarchy. The student-led movement has called for monarchy reform, including revoking strict laws criminalizing insults against top members of the royal family, rewriting of the constitution and a fresh election.

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First Published Date: 24 Sep, 20:41 IST
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