Google stands down


In an unexpected twist, Google recently promised Thailand that it will now remove all anti-monarchy videos from [its] YouTube.com website according to a report by Bangkokpost.com. Google.com earlier rejected repeated calls from the Thailand Ministry of Information and Communication Technology to remove the said clips saying that some clips have attacked President Bush far more harshly than the Thai king had been mocked.

The original offensive clip was eventually removed by the user but subsequent video clips were uploaded to the site in protest to what was deemed an attack on freedom of expression. There was a strong feeling in Thailand that Google and the offenders were culturally insensitive to the request that Thailand blocked access to the popular video sharing website.

The Thai government claimed that it will not proceed to filing of criminal charges against Google while it is still not known whether the Royal Thai Police will proceed with charging Google with lese majeste.

MICT Minister Sitthichai Pokaiyaudom said that Google’s vice president Kent Walker assured him in the letter that they would remove all offensive clips but claimed “that it would take time to find all the video clips uploaded to YouTube, but said the clips could be removed,” The Bangkok Post reported.

The Bangkok Post claimed that volunteers monitoring Youtube, however, were able to find the offensive video clips in seconds. They are wondering now how Youtube technicians “would need more time” in removing all the offensive video clips.

It is not yet clear whether Thailand would eventually allow access to Youtube in the country.

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