Facebook users in Thailand were blocked from viewing a video of their king, Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, wearing a yellow crop top. Now, their government is threatening to sue the social media behemoth if they don’t remove remnants of the unflattering footage from their platform.
The video purportedly shows Bodindradebayavarangkun perusing around a German shopping mall with one of his alleged mistresses. Vice reported that the footage in question is blocked because the Thailand’s government determined the footage violates their county’s laws, which bars any criticism of the monarchy.
Facebook is geoblocking this video of Thailand's King Vajiralongkorn so users in Thailand can't see it pic.twitter.com/QAE2SNr2KY
— Andrew MacG Marshall (@zenjournalist) May 5, 2017
The video of Bodindradebayavarangkun, 64, was supposedly taken by a Thai citizen last June—months before his father died and he became king. The king’s distinctive tattoos and the fact that he has been photographed in similar attire indicates it’s him.
Journalist Andrew Marshall, a critic of the current regime, gave the footage to Vice and posted it to his Facebook page. This is believed to be the first public video of Bodindradebayavarangkun in a crop top.
The Thai government is pushing back, however. Global News reported that Takorn Tantasith, secretary-general of Thailand’s National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, told reporters that Facebook has until Monday night to remove 309 pages from their platform.
“If Facebook still shows content declared illegal by court orders in Thailand, action must be taken against Facebook Thailand.”
Takorn told the Bangkok Post last week that Facebook complied in part, removing 178 pages they deemed were in violation. However, 131 pages are said to be still up. Global News pointed out that these pages weren’t blocked per se. Instead, Facebook has geoblocked these pages, meaning people outside of Thailand can still access them.
“Facebook must either remove the remaining 131 pages by Tuesday morning or face legal action,” Takorn told the Post. “If even a single illicit page remains, we will immediately discuss what legal steps to take against Facebook Thailand.”
[Featured Image: Twitter]