Facebook threatened with legal action by Thailand over restriction requests
September 23, 2020

Facebook threatened with legal action by Thailand over restriction requests

BANGKOK (THAILAND) – Thailand’s digital minister has threatened legal action against Facebook alleging the social media giant of not adhering to government requests to restrict content considered illegal.

This has come in the wake of Facebook’s auto-translation tool mistranslating a message posted in a Thai broadcaster’s live-streaming King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s birthday ceremony last week.

Facebook has expressed an apology and temporarily made English-to-Thai auto-translation inactive.

The incident triggered a slew of complaints by Puttipong Punnakanta, Thailand’s Minister of Digital Economy and Society. It said that Facebook was not giving a quick response to the Thai government’s requests to restrict content.

He also pledged stronger action against the company.

Puttipong said on Sunday, “When we use Thai laws to order removals or restrictions of content and don’t receive cooperation in some cases, we might need to use Section 27 of the Computer Crime Act which makes it a crime to not follow court orders.”

He referred to an article of the cybercrime law that says failure to observe a court order can result in a fine of up to 200,000 baht ($6,408) and an additional 5,000 baht ($160) per day until the order is followed.

Facebook did not directly comment on the minister’s threat when contacted on Monday. A spokeswoman repeated an apology over the royal birthday mistranslation.

Facebook has said it processes requests from the Thai government in the same way as any other government. After reviewing requests, Facebook may block the content from being seen by users in that country if locally unlawful.

(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field.

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