Thai government threatens legal action against Facebook over posts criticising monarchy

WION Web Team
Thailand Published: Aug 13, 2020, 05:24 PM(IST)

Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn and Queen Suthida wave to well-wishers after a ceremony to celebrate the brithday of Queen Sirikit, the Queen Mother, near the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Digital Economy Minister Buddhipongse Punnakanta ordered authorities to identify 'inappropriate' material and singled out 114 posts mostly made to Facebook but also Twitter and YouTube that may be in breach of the Computer Crimes Act.

Thailand's government has threatened legal action against social media giant Facebook over posts criticising monarchy.

Digital Economy Minister Buddhipongse Punnakanta ordered authorities to identify “inappropriate” material and singled out 114 posts mostly made to Facebook but also Twitter and YouTube that may be in breach of the Computer Crimes Act.

“All evidence will be gathered and submitted to court tomorrow. Once the court has issued an order, it will be forwarded to the three platforms. If within 15 days, the accounts are not closed or posts deleted, we’ll immediately take legal action.”

Meanwhile, the country's King Maha Vajiralongkorn swore in a new cabinet on Wednesday, calling for "order and peace" but without mentioning recent anti-government student protests that have urged reforms of the powerful monarchy.

Also see: Thai students protest against 'you-know-who' in Harry Potter style

The ceremony marked the king's first public appearance since the nearly unprecedented calls in two student-led protests for curbing the new powers King Vajiralongkorn has amassed since taking the throne after the death of his father in 2016.

So far, two organisers of the anti-government movement have been arrested on charges of violating emergency coronavirus bans on large gatherings. Human rights lawyer Anon Nampa, 35, and student activist Panupong Jadnok, 23, are now free on bail.

Protests have been held nearly every day since July 18, calling for the resignation of Prayuth, who first took power in a 2014 coup, and an end to military domination of politics.

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