Major tech companies Facebook, Google, and Twitter have been prosecuted in Thailand as the country wants them to remove what it says are illegal posts.
Officials announced that they would take strict action against individual users for mocking the monarchy.
As per Thailand’s ‘lese-majeste’ laws, insulting the monarchy can result in a prison sentence. This is the first time the computer-crime laws are being used to attack the platforms themselves. The move comes after mass protests in the country asking for political reforms.
“We’ve notified the companies and sent them warnings twice, but they haven’t complied with all the requests,” digital minister Puttipong Punnakanta told Reuters news agency.
He said the matter had now been referred to cyber-crime police for prosecution. According to the Bangkok Post, at issue were 661 Facebook posts, of which the company removed 225; 69 on Twitter, of which five were removed, and 289 YouTube links, which were removed on Wednesday after the deadline.
The social-media companies can be fined 200,000 baht (£4,970) for ignoring a court order to take down posts – and an extra 5,000 baht every day until it is removed under the computer-crimes law.
Earlier in August, Facebook has blocked access to a one million-strong Facebook group in Thailand that talked about monarchy, after a threat of legal action from the government.