back to article Thailand can't wait to wield Twitter censorship hammer

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 …


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  1. The BigYin

    Nor can the USA...

    ...judging by this El Reg Story

    1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
      Big Brother

      Ah now BigYin, be fair, the 'merkins didn't actually ban twatter, only the twats who twatted.

      In a way it shows that the merkins have a greater understanding of social media, allow people access to twatter and then pick up the terrorists who announce planned attacks on amerika, and strip search women looking for shovels.

      Still, it explains why 9/11 was such a devastating attack on amerika, if only osama bin-liner had tweeted that he was about to attack, the merkins could have done something about it.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What a great euphemism for "totalitarianism"!

    "enter countries that have different ideas about the contours of freedom of expression"

    Monarchy; repressing people since the dawn of time!

    I also loved the "Democrat Party" with its quaint ideas about banning access to western social media; is the name meant to be ironic or are they just taking the piss?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Thai royal family...

    ...blows badgers. Ugly ones.

    1. redxine

      There goes all the Thai-based El Reg readers.

  4. Clive Galway

    A Good Thing?

    Hang on a minute. If they say they will log every takedown with Chilling Effects, is this not a good thing in a way?

    This will mean that every act of censorship on twitter will be broadcast to the rest of the world - the dirty laundry they do not wish aired in their own back yard will be cataloged in one place for all the world to see.

  5. David 45

    Bad move

    I thought they meant they were going along with existing laws (which is bad enough) - not to give a particular country an excuse to make up new ones in order to censor. Sounds like Twitter have inadvertently made an invitation to the whole world do just that. Chicken and egg.

  6. BigUglyDean

    Hello, government of Thailand? Bhumibol Adulyadej sucks goats.

    Problem with me saying that? Come on up to my house: I live in a small town called Camptonville in California; just ask around for the 'Cobbler Guy' and people will point you in the right direction. Nothing would entertain me more.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      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.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Surprisingly easy to be brave,

      protected as you are by the sovereignty of a nuclear armed warmonger.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Judging by the recent stories related to Tweeter and Facebook censorship, I am quite happy I am out of them. Be careful! The BIG BROTHER is already watching you. Or should I say STILL watching you?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    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)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      The International Convention on Civil and Political Rights - accession to or ratification of which _should_ be (but sadly isn't) - a requirement for being a UN voting member or being considered a civilised nation, has

      Article 19

      1. Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference.

      2. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.

      3. The exercise of the rights provided for in paragraph 2 of this article carries with it special duties and responsibilities. It may therefore be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary:

      (a) For respect of the rights or reputations of others;

      (b) For the protection of national security or of public order (ordre public), or of public health or morals.

      It is not credible to claim that "national security" or protection of "public order" means one must always be nice to a monarch. Or a president. Or a dictator. Respecting the rights or reputations of others should be - but isn't - qualified by "as long as they aren't kleptomaniacs, megalomaniacs or just called Bob". Filtering Twitter just because someone - who, by the way, what are the names and addresses of the individuals doing the filtering and where can we see that information? - takes exception to the way people may refer to a monarchy, presidency, or ZANUy is just wrong.

      "There is no right to the 'freedom of speech' in Thailand, so do not try to project Western ideals and sensibilities onto the situation"

      Thailand acceded to the ICCPR in October 1996, so there is the concept of 'freedom of speech'. Ratification may be required to make it an enforceable right, but accession acknowledges the ideal. That's not the projection of Western ideals, it's the projection of a global view of civil and political rights. Medieval countries or states ignore it, which is tragic: it would be 'nice' to think that Thailand is more advanced in it's mindset than the Vatican or Iran.

  9. Dave 15 Silver badge

    Not the only place where censorship abounds

    Try saying something against people of coloured skin or slightly unusual sexual preferences in the UK. Or perhaps discuss certain things about the Nazi past in Germany, or maybe even tell the police officer thats arrested you that he's a plonker (or words to that effect). Many other places have censorship.

    It is bad that any company bows to this but I guess it is inevitable. The rich (who own these companies) have a vested interest in the 'status quo' and they must be quacking in their boots about the Arab Spring. I note the 'occupy wall street' people are on the receiving end of increasingly hostile action in the US, the UK are clearing the protesters from the streets (hell you are even banned from protesting to near the 'house of commons' (ha ha - now that name really is humour).

  10. Tony Paulazzo

    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.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Think about it for a second - ban all tweets? What's wrong with that? Sooner the rest of the world gets it the better...

  12. Wild Bill

    Doubt it'll be long before this tech is retroactively implemented in countries currently running uncensored tweetdebates. Such as here in the UK ready for the next time those terrible youths go on a rampage.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh well

    I had been destroying all my old tweets in an effort to clean things up a little. After all, I do change as a person and stuff I twatted a year ago is not how I feel now.

    I had all but stopped using twatter ... so this is just the final nail in the coffin. My beak will remain silent on that channel.

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