Thailand blocks youtube

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Thailand blocks youtube

Postby SpitValve » Fri Apr 06, 2007 9:12 am UTC

Thailand is a different culture to ours... most of the differences make sense with a bit of explanation and experience.

But one thing I never understood is the attitutude towards the King. The King is revered and respected as a symbol of unity. Or something - I haven't quite figured it out. It's not even a religious thing, because even Thai Christians will revere him (and make the important distinction that while the king is the father of the nation, God is our father in heaven).

So recently a film was posted on youtube insulting the king, and so youtube was blocked by the thai government. My western assumption is that people would react and be annoyed at the government for blocking youtube - but no, they're annoyed at youtube for insulting their king...

From some thai news/opinion thing:

When the Thai Minister of Communications Mr Sitthichai approached Google to remove the video, the company told him the site "contained material which attacked US President George W. Bush far more harshly than the Thai king had been mocked." And this incredible assertion shows that Google believes that in the US where it is a normal national sport to mock politicians - is to be equated with mocking the most revered multi-generational national symbol of Thai unity.


We really don't have anyone in our culture like the Thai king - the Queen of England is allowed to be parodied and their are antimonarchist movements around, and our popes, archbishops, presidents and prime ministers are all fair game... it's something i don't really get...

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Postby elminster » Fri Apr 06, 2007 10:07 am UTC

Ive been to thailand before, they LOVE the king over there, its common to see a picture of him in a shop or house hold. Its common to see like 20ft pictures/statues in the middle of a roundabout embezzled in gold leaf and fine artwork in the frame/base.
Im not sure what aspects of society lead to a lack of reverence in the monarchy/government/etc although definitely the media is has a very strong impact.
I can completely see why Thailand did that but they didnt do it for american Bush depiction, its oranges and apples.
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Postby Nomic » Fri Apr 06, 2007 11:31 am UTC

In Thailand you can get up to 7 years in prison for doing somethign to isult the king, so they consider it a very serious crime.

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Postby Peshmerga » Fri Apr 06, 2007 5:12 pm UTC

Your king sucks!
i hurd u liek mudkips???

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Postby Vaniver » Fri Apr 06, 2007 5:21 pm UTC

Freedom of speech needs a culture that supports it and accepts it; there cannot be anything sacred enough that to insult it means punishment.
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Postby bbctol » Fri Apr 06, 2007 7:21 pm UTC

Peshmerga wrote:Your king sucks!

Careful... soon they'll block the internet if you keep that up. All it takes is one Thai minister who peruses xkcd daily...

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Postby Solt » Fri Apr 06, 2007 9:11 pm UTC

The King and Queen(?) are just an old Thai couple, I don't see what's so special about them. A Thai restaurant I goto has posters of them right behind the cashier. They're even dressed pretty normally.

No one deserves to be revered to that degree, but hey, if it's a matter of national pride and, one could say, a popular pastime of sorts... well, to each his own.

Wasn't the King of Thailand overthrown by a military coup recently? Did they get power back?
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Postby SpitValve » Sat Apr 07, 2007 3:55 am UTC

The King doesn't govern Thailand. It's like the British system. The democratic government was overthrown by the military, but one of the reasons why the nation is stable is that the king supported the new government.

I'd expect every Thai restaurant with actual Thais in it would have a picture of the King (and maybe Queen & Princess). They're everywhere...


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