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Thailand lifts YouTube ban put in place after 'insulting' video of king

[JURIST] The Thai government said Friday that it has lifted a five-month ban on the popular video-sharing website YouTube [corporate website], now owned by Google [corporate website], after YouTube's site operator agreed to prohibit offensive videos from appearing on the site. Thailand banned access [JURIST report] to YouTube and several other websites in April that contained material deemed offensive to the country's monarch King Bhumibol Adulyadej. A video on YouTube depicting the king as a clown with feet pasted over his head, an insulting image in Thai culture that can amount to a criminal offense, caused outrage but received more than 16,000 viewers. In May, the Thai government opted not to sue Google [JURIST report] over the video clip.

The government did not provide a reason for lifting the ban, but Information and Communication Technology Minister Sitthichai Phokai-udom [IHT backgrounder] indicated to the Nation [media website] that Thailand agreed to lift the ban only after YouTube created a program that effectively blocks people using Thai Internet service providers from accessing similarly offensive video clips. AP has more. From Bangkok, the Nation has local coverage.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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