Twitter Censorship Sounds Good to Thailand

Alexander Abad-Santos
January 30, 2012
Twitter Censorship Sounds Good to Thailand

In an unsurprising move, Thailand has become the first government to support Twitter censorship. While the rest of the Twitterverse voiced its displeasure of the social media platform's announced policy change of blocking messages in countries where they were deemed illegal, Thailand's technology minister, Anudith Nakornthap, lauded Twitter's censorship on Monday, calling it a “constructive” development. In an AP report, Anudith said it was a good thing that Twitter “felt responsible to cooperate with governments to make sure basic rights are not violated through the use of social media.”

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It's worth noting that the Thai government has always enforced strict censorship laws and has recently been on a mission to censor social media to enforce lese majeste, the punishable act of smearing the Thai monarchy. In the past few months, it has warned that people "liking" certain Facebook statuses could be punished if they visit the country. And the AP reports that Thailand’s taskforce that monitors anti-monarchy content has blocked 1,156 websites since December. So, it does make sense that the Thai government would be all in favor of the policy shift where a government request is all that it would take to block an offending tweet.  But as The Guardian points out, that offending message would still be seen in other countries.