by Carlo Longino

Filed Under:
censorship, thailand

google, youtube

YouTube Says It's Sorry, Promises Thailand It Won't Do It Again, Gets Unblocked

from the no-tube dept

Back in April, the Thai government gained itself some publicity by blocking YouTube, after it discovered a video on the site making fun of the country's king. Google apparently decided that censoring videos deemed offensive by the Thais was acceptable on its sliding scale of evil, and now that the "program" to block the videos is apparently complete, Thais can once again access YouTube. No word, though, on whether the Thai government still plans to sue YouTube for running the video. Perhaps since the YouTube blocking technology works to the government's satisfaction, Google would be willing to cooperate with the Thais to help them with their other attempts to censor the internet. After all, if blocking some YouTube videos at the government's request doesn't trip the evil scale, it's hard to see why any other type of censorship would.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    BillGod, Aug 31st, 2007 @ 12:38pm


    If I was not afraid of getting assassinated by the Thai government. I would so create a whole line of videos of my feet rubbing on picture of their king. just to "test" the new google filters.. Dorpus I think you should do it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    D, Aug 31st, 2007 @ 12:52pm

    Censorship and Freedom of Speech

    I realize that Google is caving in to maintain profits. However, if they did not exist in Thailand at all that video wouldn't have been viewed by millions of people. The concept of free speech would be even LESS familiar to these people that don't have it. I'd argue strongly that even with censorship AFTER THE POINT the basis for freedom of speech is laid in these countries. There will be sacrifices along the way but it's a start.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    dorpus, Aug 31st, 2007 @ 1:31pm

    Beyond freedom

    Asians do not tolerate free speech. If someone says something offensive, then mobs of netters will track down the person who said it, flood them with death threats, post thousands of false stories about them, make threatening phone calls to their families, dump toxic chemicals on their doorstep, what have you. The hooligans brag about their exploits online, the rest of the populus is too afraid to do anything about it, police will claim "democracy" and refuse to intervene.

    So yes, beyond freedom of speech, it means Google will be bombarded with lawsuits by victims of mob violence, since Google is the Big Bad American Company that "caused" it to happen.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Ajax 4Hire, Aug 31st, 2007 @ 2:14pm

    I don't like Google taking this position

    on censorship but it is a business, not a government.
    We empower the government to ensure the peace and our freedoms.

    I don't like Google enforcing censorship for the government of Thai but it is completely within its rights to do so.

    The US Constitution freedom of speech clause ONLY applies to the government and simply notes that speech should not be limited.

    A company, group, club or person can make and enforce limits on speech. Parents, Teachers, Schools, Universities and Companies have been doing this for years.

    Don't get the two confused;
    I can say "shut-up".
    The government, at least the US Government(s) cannot.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 31st, 2007 @ 3:47pm

    yup and google being a US based company can grow a back bone too and say shut up. I find it ironic the Thailand means land of the free yet you can't insult the king. Tell the king and mr bush to kiss my ass.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 31st, 2007 @ 10:11pm


    US is where the buildings are, but the Internet is GLOBAL.

    Now, if Google isn't secretly Evil (and I mean Evil, not 'bad' as everyone is a shade of gray not white) those videos will only be censored for people in Thailand viewing it.

    If I want to I could make fun of their king, as it's within my rights. Still a jerk move (even bad guys have feelings, not to insinuate the king of Thailand is a bad guy as I honestly don't know jack about the situation there)but well within my rights in America as a citizen.

    To be honest, I don't care if other countries want censorship (assuming the majority of the people there actually want it, though I'd be hard pressed to believe it) as that is why there is more than one country in this world.

    Different people, different culture, different beliefs. If people would realise that is ok we'd probably have a lot less wars.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    eightsouthman, Sep 1st, 2007 @ 12:33pm

    1st amendment

    Much censorship in this country has been illegal. It makes no difference if a school, church or business does it, it's still illegal to silence an individual. Yes, Google can do whatever they want but they sure won't make any friends in the land that used to have a bill of rights.(RIP)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Furgeson, Sep 2nd, 2007 @ 8:01am

    Re: Hmmmm

    What good would that do?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    kat, Sep 6th, 2007 @ 7:46am

    Re: 1st amendment

    The first amendment reads:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    How does that make it illegal for a business, church or school to silence an individual?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Amity, Sep 10th, 2007 @ 12:52pm

    Re: 1st amendment

    kat, you're being pedantic. The meaning of the First Amendment to the US Constitution goes beyond a narrow reading of the text. If that concept is beyond you then stay out of the business of Constitutional interpretation altogether.

    That said, whether or not Google can legally force political speech off its site hinges on the question of whether or not, and to what extent, they're a "common carrier." These days media corporations have terrified everyone halfway to believing that enforcement of their intellectual property rights is the responsibility of neutral carriers, not owners themselves, but that principle is entirely contrived and has no basis in history (libel laws notwithstanding -- totally different concept).

    The consequence of this reign of fear is that Americans accept that a company like Google has the right, even the obligation, to take something down if anyone objects to it being there, which is an attitude that Americans of another generation would have found pathetically wussy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Grant Hendricks, Dec 8th, 2008 @ 9:14pm

    British English center of murders of the world

    U Tube, and any British publishing in Thailand should be permanently removed.

    A nation that makes its living by inslaving or murdering women and children in the world for their property and rights desire zero tolerance.

    The only reason why any nation listens to the British because they promise to censor their own lies, and barbaric actions.

    Only poor nations, like Thailand listen to these political fools because they manage to lie and con their way in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. They is nothing useful about the British. Not only can they not make a descent car, everything they make is either useless, or too expensive.

    Why any nation in the world would do business with them is beyond common sense. Stop them now.


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Bangkok hotels, Apr 6th, 2009 @ 10:34pm


    Look what they did for China. They help Beijing to block and censor the whole internet, not just one of their sites. Sad but true.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Bangkok hotels Thailand, Feb 21st, 2010 @ 7:05am

    The King is cool

    The Thai king is a great guy. The people of Thailand love their king and he is the one uniting power that is respected and loved by both sides.

    The laws regarding the king are draconian and out of place in this modern world.

    Silly laws, great king.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    sol, May 12th, 2011 @ 10:43pm

    evil king

    he is a dickhead

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    dave, May 12th, 2011 @ 10:44pm

    this guy is as bad as saddam hussein

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    dave, May 12th, 2011 @ 10:46pm

    The Thai king is a great guy. The people of Thailand love their king and he is the one uniting power that is respected and loved by both sides,,,,,,,and father christmas is for real

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.