Thailand menaces YouTube - again

'Offensive' video saga part 24


Thailand's powers that be are considering a new block on certain "offensive" YouTube material after last month lifting its ban on the site, Reuters reports.

The Thailand versus YouTube saga began in May when one chap posted a 44-second video showing King Bhumibol Adulyadej containing "the juxtaposition of a pair of woman's feet, the lowest part of the body, above his head, the highest part of the body".

Cue Buddhist outrage, and a swift total clampdown on the site. Tense negotiations followed, during which YouTube's dark master, Google, at one point agreed to purge four of twelve videos the Thais deemed unacceptable.

Six others were removed by their posters, but Google said of the remaining two: "They appear to be political comments that are critical of both the government and the conduct of foreigners. Because they are political in nature, and not intended insults of His Majesty, we do not see a basis for blocking these videos."

Thailand then seemed to loosen up a little, but has now once again asked Google to pull an unspecified number of videos. And if the search monolith fails to comply, Thailand will consider rethrottling YouTube. Justice Ministry representative Yanaphon Youngyuen told Reuters: "In the next couple of days, we will seek a court order to block those links deemed to cause public confusion and threaten national security." ®


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