Websites being blocked by Google. (Image Bangkok Post)

Around 100 web addresses on the popular video-sharing site YouTube have been blocked over the past four days for insulting the monarchy, the result of what the government is calling a “joint blocking effort” with Google.

A further 380 web addresses, or URLs, on the site, run by a subsidiary of Google, are in the process of being blocked, according to a government official responsible for monitoring and blocking inappropriate content online.

The official said that the government was also planning to invite representatives of Facebook this week to discuss ways to strengthen cooperation in blocking users that post content or comments detrimental to the monarchy.

It is also believed that around 30-40 URLs with inappropriate content have been blocked per day since last week, compared with an average of two to 10 before co-operation began .

Last Friday, the director of public policy and government affairs at Google’s Southeast Asia and Greater China office, met the Deputy Prime Minister to discuss the issue.

Google have put in place steps making it easier for the government to complain about YouTube posts considered offensive to the monarchy. Google employees in the US consider the requests.

This includes a complaint report from the government available in Thai rather than only in English, as with previous versions. Google stated that it had Thai nationals to handle complaints around the clock.

The government has been informed that it has to send URLs with inappropriate content to Google’s office in the US for review. It must also apply for court orders in Thailand.

All of this benefits the government because it shortens the process of blocking web addresses. It also helps avoid misunderstandings between the government and Google on what will be regarded as inappropriate content.

Google representatives have insisted they have made no changes to their policies, which cover  site-blocking and YouTube video takedowns after considering government requests on a case-by-case basis.


(Information from the Bangkok Post)



By Juninho