The question critics of the government’s decision to ban PornHub is not why the adult website was blocked but how it that it wasn’t blocked long before now?

The fact Thailand’s blocks internet porn is not news. It’s been that way since the government discovered there was porn on the internet. Many popular sites, especially those with a Thailand focus, have been inaccessible for a decade or more without jumping through technical hoops. The fact that PornHub, the world’s largest adult-video site, has survived this long must be a stamina record right up there with Viagra.

While simpletons are calling the matter a tempest in a teacup – given that the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society’s order to the nation’s internet service providers to block access to the site (and 190 other porn-related URLs) is easily circumvented – they’re missing the point, one being articulated tonight outside the MDES’s offices.

A protest that began with a few dozen eccentrics holding “Save PornHub” signs has grown into a larger demonstration against one more example of an autocratic government suppressing rights expected by citizens of a supposedly free and open democracy, even if those rights are to filmed episodes involving ladyboys and bestiality.

While generally the military-backed government’s lap dogs, Thailand’s courts recently have opposed the government’s incessant urge to censor online content.

On Oct. 18, the Criminal Court voided an order by the MDES and Royal Thai Police to shut down online channels run by VoiceTV,, The Reporters, and The Standard  for “promoting unrest”. The Court said the order breached Article 35 of the constitution that guaranteed press freedom.

PornHub won’t get the same courtesy, given that pornography and online gambling are both explicitly outlawed under Thailand’s draconian Computer Crime Act.

Digital Minister Putthipong Punnakan said Tuesday the block order was not based in censorship, but “good morals” and came after complaints from parents, monks, teachers and conservative leaders.

Too often, laws are justified by Thailand’s nanny-state government by the need to maintain “proper values” and morality, with elderly, right-wing ex-military officials believing its their duty to impose their own personal values on 70 million people, more and more of whom are unwilling to be dictated to.

The #SavePornHub protest organized by frequent government agitator, The Anonymous Party, insists people should have the right to have access all types of media, including sexual content. After all, no one is making Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha watch it.

But Anonymous was quickly joined by other supporters of the Generation Z-powered pro-democracy movement who can now add this to their list of grievences about an over-reaching government. While unlikely to add PornHub to their platform of government reforms, the pro-democracy activists can put it in the larger context of how Thailand is a democracy in name only.

Digital rights advocate Emilie Pradichit, head of the Manushya Foundation, called the move proof that Thailand was “a land of digital dictatorship, with conservatives in power trying to control what young people can watch, can say and can do online”.

Conservative activist Nuttaa Mahattana posted the counterpoint view on her Facebook page today, calling the website a hub of criminal activity, including “revenge porn”.

“Do not link this issue to politics and do not support the (website’s) activities,” she wrote. “Democracy does not mean you can do anything at will with no responsibility.”