Facebook launches legal action against Thailand government

Social networking giant Facebook is launching a legal action after it was forced to close a group that is critical of the Thai monarchy.

Facebook is facing a lot of criticism after reports surface that it complied with the request from the Thai government. The request involves closing down a particular group that is critical of the country’s ruling monarch. Now, the tech giant is planning to launch legal actions against that request.

Company facing backlash

The recent move from Facebook came after it faced severe criticism over its decision to block that group. Thousands of protesters poured on the streets of Thailand, protesting almost daily.

At the center of this issue is the group called “Royalist Marketplace.” The group was created by a staunch critic of the Thai monarchy, Pavin Chachavalpongpun. Following a legal request from the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, the group was taken down late Monday.

Following the huge backlash, the tech giant said that the Thai government pressured it. A company spokesperson said in a statement to CNN:

“Requests like this are severe, contravene international human rights law, and have a chilling effect on people’s ability to express themselves. We work to protect and defend the rights of all internet users and are preparing to legally challenge this request.”

It is important to note that it is illegal in Thailand to defame the monarchy. Violation of this particular law can result in jail time of up to 15 years. Recently, the law has been used to silence political dissidents and those who are critical of the Thai government.

Hate speech and freedom of expression

Aside from Thailand, Facebook is also facing a lot of controversy in many places around the globe. Most of these cases have something to do with hate speech and freedom of expression.

The company is facing legislative inquiry in India over this particular issue. The company is facing criticism for allowing Indian politicians to flaunt hate speech on its platform. This particular politician has strong ties to India’s current ruling party.

In the United States, the company is also facing huge criticism from supporters of President Donald Trump. The social networking giant took down some of the President’s post, which angered its supporters. Moreover, the company also labeled some of the President’s posts that contain inaccurate information.

Critics are quick to note that Facebook has become a primary platform for hate speech. The company does respond to some of these claims in a timely manner. However, critics said that the company needs to step up its drive to cleanse its platform of hate speech.

Featured image courtesy of NiP STUDIO/Shutterstock

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