Reuters reports that the Thai government has issued orders to block YouTube from within the country after YouTube declined to take off allegedly offensive videos.
The ban was brought about by a 44-second video clip that ridiculed Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej, which is a crime in Thailand by virtue of lèse majesté (in which criticizing or offending the monarchy, any royal, or even the King’s image itself, are criminal offenses punishable by up to 15 years in prison). One of the notable parts that were offensive, especially to Thai Buddhists, was “the juxtaposition of a pair of woman’s feet, the lowest part of the body, above his head, the highest part of the body.”
According to Communications Minister Sitthichai Pookaiyaudom, YouTube’s response was that it did not find anything offensive about the video, so they turned down the request to remove it. He added that as soon as YouTube puts the video online, the Thai Government would reinstate access to youtube.com.
The Thai Government has been active in banning websites they deem to be offensive to the monarch, the army, or that are in favor of Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a bloodless coup d’état in 2006.