Thai military briefly cuts off Facebook to silence protests

Above: Bangkok skyline

Image Credit: Swaminathan / Flickr

Updated 8:52 AM ET to reflect the duration of the block.

Thailand blocked Facebook today for 30 minutes to quiet protests challenging the military’s seizure of power in the country last week.

Following the footsteps of Turkey, Syria, and China, Thailand’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Ministry reportedly blocked the popular social network “to thwart the spread of online criticism of the military,” according to ICT secretary Surachai Srisaracam.

Officials originally claimed the block was due to a technical glitch, yet Srisaracam’s comments confirm that this is a case of intentional censorship of Thai citizens. More, from Srisaracam via Reuters:

We have blocked Facebook temporarily and tomorrow we will call a meeting with other social media, like Twitter and Instagram, to ask for cooperation from them.

While social networks in the U.S. often oppose government censorship, Twitter specifically has become lenient in censoring tweets at the will of foreign governments.

Check back for updates as the story develops.

More information:

Facebook is the world’s largest social network, with over 1.15 billion monthly active users. Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg in February 2004, initially as an exclusive network for Harvard students. It was a huge hit: in 2 w... read more »

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5 comments
Michael Roelink
Michael Roelink

Even if they did, still lots of other social media sites to organise protests through...

VentureBeat
VentureBeat

It *was* blocked for 30 minutes. The piece has been updated