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Facebook misses Thai deadline to remove footage of king in a crop top

The authorities have redoubled efforts to purge the Thai web following the October ascension of the country’s new king Maha Vajiralongkorn. (File photo: AP)

DUBAI: Facebook is still up and running in Thailand, despite the social media giant failing to remove material Thai authorities deemed critical of the monarchy by Tuesday morning’s deadline.

Thailand enforces a lese majeste law which outlaws any criticism of the monarchy and has seen more than 100 people charged on grounds of violating the law since ultra-royalist generals seized power three years ago.
According to the Daily Mail, one of the offending pieces of content includes a purported video of Thai King Maha Vajiralongkorn, 64, strolling around a shopping center with a woman in Germany, while wearing a crop top and seemingly covered in tattoos.
The footage was purportedly filmed in Munich in July last year.
Last week Thailand’s telecom regulator, the NBTC, said it would file a police complaint against Facebook’s Thailand office and shut down the hugely popular site if it did not remove more than 130 “illegal” posts by 10 am local time on Tuesday.

“Facebook is cooperating with Thailand,” Takorn Tantasith, secretary-general of the NBTC told reporters after the 10 am deadline passed.
Takorn said some 97 web pages deemed critical of the monarchy remained on the platform but authorities were seeking court orders to send Facebook demanding their removal.
Under its published policies, Facebook says it will comply with a country’s request to remove content if it receives a valid court order.
“When we receive such a request, we review it to determine if it puts us on notice of unlawful content,” the company told AFP.
“If we determine that it does, then we make it unavailable in the relevant country or territory and notify people who try to access it why it is restricted.”
According to its published data, Facebook made 50 posts unavailable to Thai users after requests from the government in 2016.
No items were restricted in 2015 and 35 items were removed in 2014, the year of the coup.
Vajiralongkorn, 64, became king following the death of his father King Bhumibol Adulyadej who reigned for seven decades.
(With AFP)