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PornHub Just the Start for Thai Internet Censors

209 sites blocked since Oct. 26 with thousands more in internet censors' crosshairs

Access denied sign on laptop screen

Pornhub grabbed all the headlines, but Thailand’s internet censors have blocked more than 200 websites and social media accounts since Oct. 26 and have thousands more in their crosshairs.

The Ministry of Digital Economy and Society said Wednesday that from Oct. 26 to Nov. 1 it had five court orders approved to block access or close down 139 Facebook pages, 20 YouTube links, 24 Twitter profiles and 26 addresses on other platforms.

Minister Buddhipongse Punnakanta claimed the MDES was acting upon more than 12,000 complaints about “illegal” websites and social media accounts.

As of November 1, a total 4,114 URLs had been blocked or shut down by the Thai authorities.

Social networking sites like Facebook have caved to the government’s demands and complied with its censorship wishes justified by the draconian Computer Crime Act, blocking some 4,000 URLs to date, about a third of those identified in complaints.

The Digital Economy and Society Minister, said today people can report information about illegal websites via the ministry’s DESMonitor page on Facebook 24 hours a day. The ministry will compile evidence before seeking a court order to block and remove such URLs within 48 hours.

The ministry currently is taking legal action against 12 URLs – including 11 linking to the abandoned and already blocked Facebook “Royalist Marketplace” group and the Twitter account for user @Pari_2532, which has a grand total of only followers.

The MDES is also going after online platform operators who don’t kowtow to its demands by blocking 6,582 URLs.