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YouTube offers to tutor Thai gov’t censors to end ban row

YouTube offered Saturday to tutor Thai officials who want to censor the video-sharing service in a bid to end a ban imposed after clips mocking the country’s revered king appeared online. Thailand blocked YouTube on Wednesday after its owner, Google Inc., refused to remove a slideshow of King Bhumibol Adulyadej juxtaposed with imagery Thais deemed offensive.

After the site was blocked, several more videos mocking the king appeared on YouTube. Some of the new postings explicitly criticized the censorship of the first video.

Sitthichai Pookaiyaudom, the minister of information and technology, said the government would lift the ban only once it has the technical capacity to block individual pages.

YouTube said one of its representatives had spoken with Sitthichai, who admitted the ministry’s technical team was having difficulty understanding how to block individual videos.

“While we will not take down videos that do not violate our policies, and will not assist in implementing censorship, we have offered to educate the Thai ministry about YouTube and how it works,” said Julie Supan, head of global communications for YouTube.

“It’s up to the Thailand government to decide whether to block specific videos, but we would rather that than have them block the entire site,” she said.

Insulting the monarchy in Thailand is a criminal offense known as lese majeste. Last month, a Swiss man was sentenced to 10 years in prison for vandalizing portraits of the king.

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April 8, 2007 - Posted by | youtube

1 Comment »

  1. Yep, Right now Thai government block the entire site to youtube.com. (damn!)

    Comment by Thai people | April 10, 2007 | Reply


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