Thailand is threatening to sue Facebook after a video was shared on the platform showing the King of Thailand walking about in a yellow crop top.
In the footage which surfaced last week, King Maha Vajiralongkorn was seen with a woman dressed in a similar crop top. The king’s midriff, chest and arms were exposed to reveal tattoos.
After the video made it to Facebook, the Thai government requested that it should be taken down and Facebook geo-blocked the footage, so it could not be seen by users in Thailand but Thai authorities claim that the video is still available on some pages accessible to users in Thailand. Thai officials have now given Facebook a deadline of 10 a.m. on Tuesday to remove pages containing the video of the King as well as pages containing the critical posts, or it will press charges.
Access to 178 pages containing the video has been restricted but the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) claims that there are still 131 pages available.
“If even a single illicit page remains, we will immediately discuss what legal steps to take against Facebook Thailand,” Takorn Tantasith, secretary-general of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission said.
Under lese-majeste law, anyone who openly criticises the monarchy can face up to 15 years in prison. The number of prosecutions has been on the increase ever since 2014 when the military seized control of the country. Charges could be levied against Facebook, however, if Facebook Thailand is not a full branch of Facebook Inc, it would be impossible to sue because it does not control illegal content, legal experts say.
See the video below.