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Thailand: Facebook blocks access to to group critical of monarchy

Komal FatimaWeb Editor

25th Aug, 2020. 11:19 am
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Thailand: Facebook blocks access to to group critical of monarchy

Facebook has restricted access to a million-member group in Thailand discussing the monarchy, as the government threatened legal action.

The social media giant has informed BBC that it was going to take legal action to respond to the pressure from Bangkok.

Anti-government protests are being held in Thailand which has included record calls for reforms to the monarchy.

Monarchy cannot be criticized in Thailand, as it is considered illegal.

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Sources revealed that the group has more than one million members. group admin Pavin Chachavalpongpun said that a new group was made on Monday evening that gained more than 400, 000 followers in no time.

Mr. Chachavalpongpun said the group “provides a platform for a serious discussion on the monarchy and it allows Thais to express their views freely about the monarchy, from the political intervention of the monarchy to its intimate ties with the military in consolidating the king’s power”.

On the other hand, Facebook stated that it was forced “to restrict access to content which the Thai government has deemed to be illegal”.

“Requests like this are severe, contravene international human rights law, and have a chilling effect on people’s ability to express themselves,” it said in a statement.

Facebook also mentioned that it was “preparing to legally challenge this request”

“Thailand’s government is again abusing its overbroad and rights-abusing laws to force Facebook to restrict content that is protected by the human right to free speech,” John Sifton, Asia Advocacy Director at Human Rights Watch said in a statement.

“Make no mistake, it is Thailand that is breaking the law here – international law protecting freedom of expression.”

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