Feeds

Flinging Facebook insults at Thai monarchy earns fat jail terms

Bhummer! Ministry asks social network to delete rude comments

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

Facebook users in Thailand, who take to the site to grumble about the Thai monarchy, have been warned that tough lese majeste laws will be brought against them.

The country's Information and Communications Technology minister, Anudith Nakornthap, said that if such users "share" or "like" articles on Facebook that are considered to insult the Thai royal family, they could face sentences of between three and 15 years in jail – as laid out in Thailand's Computer Crimes Act.

According to AFP, the dominant social network was asked to remove over 10,000 pages of material that contained images or text that the Thai ministry said was "offensive" to the monarchy.

That request came just one day after a man was jailed for 20 years by a Thai court after being found to have sent four text messages from his phone that were labelled as disparaging towards the ruling family.

Nakornthap told the news wire that thousands of web links on Facebook "insulted" the monarchy.

Those who highlight such posts by either sharing or "liking" them on the network could be deemed by a Thai court as having indirectly disseminated such material to other online users in the country.

A wider crackdown on such free speech on the web is already seemingly underway in Thailand.

A Thai-born US citizen, Joe Wichai Commart Gordon, recently pleaded guilty offending the royal family after he translated a barred biography of the world's longest-reigning monarch, 83-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

In October, a UN human rights expert called on Thailand to amend laws that impose such jail terms on “whoever defames, insults or threatens” the Thai royal family.

Frank La Rue said that the "vagueness" of such allegations contravened international treaties.

“The recent spike in lese majeste cases pursued by the police and the courts shows the urgency to amend them,” he said. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.