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YouTube blocked and unblocked in Thailand

Visitors to popular video sharing site YouTube were re-directed to a government web site from Friday to Saturday noon.

2Bangkok has a post on the block

When attempting to reach the YouTube site from within Thailand, the user is redirected to MICT. MICT is the government agency responsible for censoring the internet in Thailand. The reasons and criteria for blocking are usually not made public. In the past, if the resulting controversy over a certain blocking is too great, the blocked site comes back online and the government denies it was ever blocked at all.

MICT stands for the Ministry of Communication and Technology.

Speculating on the possible reasons for the block, forum poster Jromerz writes

Looking around in youtube now (after getting in without typing those three letters in the URL) and its still got blocks up within the site. If you click on a member's profile then you get the mict page again, and some (or most?) clips don't seem viewable.
It must be all those cnn interview posts

Thaksin on CNN

Jromerz is referring to the the clips from a CNN interview that features ex-prime minister Thaksin. Thaksin was ousted by the Thai military and the current military backed regime is not happy with Thaksin getting any form of media exposure.

The 2bangkok forum has more discussion on the block.

There is no official word yet from Thai government if the blocking was deliberate. Thai authorities are known to have blocked sites before without warning.Personal Thailand writes

Turkey blocked the website today but government had some reason for it. Thailand has been known for blocking websites with out warning or reason before.

YouTube was accessible later in the day on Saturday.

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  • http://TKNSthai.googlepages.com anon

    I remember seeing some very sharp criticisms of Saprang and Prem uploaded onto YouTube.

    That probably is enough for the entire site to be classified as “not contributing to the public morality.”

    Next up for censorship: Google! Why? Well, somebody uploaded a Thai translation of Chapter 15 of The King Never Smiles onto Google Pages. The biography of King Bhumibol Adulyadej was banned by the Thai government even before it was published. The translation is at at:

    http://TKNSthai.googlepages.com

    Chapter 15 is all about General Prem (the guy behind the current junta) and sad events of the 1980’s.

    Not a bad translation, if I do say so for myself, although the title is changed to สวรรค์ในอก นรกในใจ and the title of Chapter 15 to น้ำพึ่งเรือ-เสือพึ่งป่า

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  • http://geomark.wordpress.com geomark

    I live here and had no issues accessing YouTube during those times. Blocking is done by individual ISPs so perhaps it was limited to a particular ISP and mine didn’t get the word, or it was a mistake.

  • http://alexanderhayesblog.blogspot.com Alexander Hayes

    YouTube is an immensely popular site here in Australia however it is banned by many educational and social settings due to the accessibility to material deemed “that offends”.

    Many educators are campaigning for the access to be at least relaxed to known files and users for educational purpose. The paradox is that even in the most progressive countries where live social media is broadcast the access to YouTube and similar video authoring sites is restricted when it is accessed via educational settings.

    Why ? We are yet to find out.

  • Mark

    KSC Internet Thailand just started blocking YouTube as of yesterday (April 3). I had no problems accessing it before yesterday.

  • Paul

    The ban is again in place. This time for fairly good reason. Someone has posted a poorly edited and very insulting video of the king on youtube. The ban occurred a day or two after the video appeared. What may be more troubling to the Thai government is the discussion in the comments section.

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