YouTube, the video-sharing website owned by Google has been banned in Thailand because it had a video of Thai King Bhumibol Adulyade in a very disrespectful image. The 44 second clip shows the monarch under a picture of a woman’s feet dancing to Thailand’s national anthem [story here]. Thailand government then took offense and over the helm of blocking the popular website for the second time thinking that the block will lessen the sting of the insult. Although right now the video can no longer be viewed online at YouTube, Thailand still refuses to lift the ban.
King Bhumibol Adulyade
Thais scoffed at free speech claiming that the video is an open subject for discrimination considering that criticizing royalty is in turn a crime punishable by up to 15 years in jail. The internet is vulnerable in Thailand .. yet so it is also vulnerable to everybody especially when ridicule is the subject. Any public figure is always the subject for ridicule. It goes along with the whole package of being a public figurine. 🙂Blocking won’t stop people from googling the video and reproducing copies. They even created Delutube, another website that allows you to view deleted YouTube files. Why the government stripped Thailand of a mise-en-scène that can offer them an alternate voice is beyond me. Globalization. Accept it.
Thailand might just as well throw in the towel. The online community is bigger than her. And some communities just don’t care shit about religion, reverence to a demi-God slash King, and propriety. If they censor the internet because of that, what do you call the anathema of political websites or insurgencies or even anything related to the military junta by them? Respect for Thailand’s stance on deleting the video because of a very high regard to royalty drew some flak because of that.
The fulcrum is that even if free speech entails responsbility and respect, it is mightier than any blockage held by a powerful monarch. Kill a journalist and his story will live.
Mashable has had people guessing which country will block YouTube next. Our Third World Philly will not be on that list. 😀
a screenshot of YouTube from yahoo photos