Thailand can't wait to wield Twitter censorship hammer
Tweet-smashing tech welcomed by govt
Thailand has become the first nation in the world to embrace Twitter's controversial censorship scheme.
Last week Twitter said it was prepared to block content on a country-by-country basis as required by each jurisdiction. The social network said it will "reactively withhold content from users in a specific country" in the interests of allowing Twitter to further expand globally and "enter countries that have different ideas about the contours of freedom of expression". Twitter said in cases where it withheld tweets it would inform the user, as well as logging incidents of gagging orders with Chilling Effects.
The micro-blogging service announced this move in a blog post entitled the "Tweets still must flow". Critics were quick to decry the move as caving in to global censorship. Human rights activists, while not exactly welcoming the development, said that at least Twitter was been transparent. The capitulation stung because Twitter was prominently used to organise protest movements, such as the Arab Spring last year.
The censorship scheme gained its first government-level endorsement when a senior official in Thailand said the country wanted to work with Twitter to use the feature. Last year alone the nation asked Facebook to remove more than 10,000 pages deemed insulting or critical of the Thai royal family, in violation of Thailand's lese majeste law. The same concerns led to a long-running blocking of YouTube in Thailand during 2006 that was only lifted after the video clip service selectively censored offending video, The Next Web reports.
ICT permanent secretary Jeerawan Boonperm told the Bangkok Post that Twitter's censorship scheme was a "welcome development" that the Thai government wanted to apply locally.
Late last year the opposition Democrat Party tried to secure support for a complete ban on accessing Western social media websites, praising the Chinese model, The Next Web adds. The move failed, but it does highlight the alternative to locally censored social media services might be no social media services in the case of some countries. ®
Please grow the fuck up. We are not at primary school, this is not the playground, and we don't have to pretend we're all hung like rhinos.
Oh sorry, you're American. Just because the US thinks that their laws apply to all countries does not mean that this is the case, nor the corollary that other countries' laws apply to the US.
If you want to make your point, please feel free to go to Thailand (where this law applies) and try saying the same thing - I'm betting the ensuing case would make for amusing reading and El Reg could report on it, seeing as they could link it back to this story.
You may not agree with the law in question - I know I don't - but this ham-fisted "look at me, I'm the toughest kid in the playground" shit is puerile and makes you look like a complete twat.
Living within the law in Thailand
People in Thailand know what the law is, and while it may seem draconian to people outside of Thailand to have a law on the books that says you can not say bad things about the monarch/monarchy, the law is there and has been for a very long time. There is no right to the 'freedom of speech' in Thailand, so do not try to project Western ideals and sensibilities onto the situation.
It was people posting defamatory videos on YouTube a few years ago that got YouTube censored (i.e. completely blocked) within Thailand, and while deleting people's tweets because they break a local Thai law might sound bad, I am sure people in Thailand would rather have that happen than an outright blocking of the Twitter service itself.
People posting comments here about the Thai monarch have obviously little knowledge of the situation in Thailand, where the current monarch (who has been on the throne for over 60 years, and is himself 84 years old) did not institute this particular lese majeste law, and seems to find it all a bit of an embarrassment. When people do get locked away for breaking the law (especially when a foreigner is involved), a royal pardon tends to follow pretty quickly.
Finally, which is more draconian:
1. Deleting people's tweets when they break a Thai law saying that you can not make certain types of comments about the Thai monarch/monarchy.
2. Arresting and deporting a person upon entry to the USA on the basis of his use of (and the authorities' misunderstanding of) the slang phrase "destroy America" - remembering that the USA is a country which supposedly holds the freedom of speech as one of the basic rights.
AC because ... of my geographical location, and not wanting to offend anyone (talking about the monarchy is best avoided)
Can you shout theatre in a crowded fire?
>There is no right to the 'freedom of speech' in Thailand, so do not try to project Western ideals and sensibilities onto the situation.<
Our (UK) Freedom of speech allowance is pretty restricted too. No threatening, abusive or insulting speech or behaviour likely to cause a breach of the peace. No incitement to racial, religious or sexual hatred. No allowance to incite or glorify terrorism, nor collection or possession of info likely to be of use to a terrorist.
Treason is also a big no no, (including 'imagining the death of a monarch'), corruption of public morales and outraging public decency.
Tons of 'no free speech' rules dedicated to the courts of law, inc. but not limited to, scandalising the court by criticising judges, harassment, privileged communications, trade secrets, classified material, copyright, patents, military conduct, and limitations on commercial speech such as advertising.
'Facts' gleaned from Wikipedia.