5000 websites insulting royals shutdown by Thai police

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Authorities in Thailand have removed over 5000 webpages in the last three months with content deemed insulting to the royal family. Critics on the other hand, argue that this is just an excuse by the government to exercise harder censorship controls.

Those found guilty could face up to 15 years in prison, such as Wipas Raksakulthai, thought to be the first person charged with the crime after making a posting to Facebook.

In January, the Thai government was also the first to publicly endorse a new feature on Twitter designed to allow for blocking of tweets at a country level. ICT permanent secretary Jeerawan Boonperm said then that such functionality was a “welcome development”.