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Volunteer 'Cyber Scouts' Censor Web In Thailand

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the everyone-loves-the-king-repeat dept.

Censorship 112

societyofrobots writes "Since the military coup of 2006, Thailand's media freedoms have continually been downgraded. A growing tactic among the ruling elite is to accuse the political opposition of insulting the king, allowing for censorship and political imprisonment of those who dare speak out. In 2010, web censorship began to reach the scales of China and Iran. Now, Thailand has formed a group of volunteers called Cyber-Scouts to patrol the web looking for comments deemed to insult the monarchy. AFP also has a video."

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112 comments

are they? (3, Insightful)

Aighearach (97333) | more than 2 years ago | (#36127426)

One question I have is, are they actually censoring things that do in fact insult the monarchy, or are they using that to suppress other political speech. Either one is bad, but they are whole different levels of bad. Removing things insulting a Monarch is an annoying anachronism but not very harmful... unless it spreads.

Re:are they? (1)

Aighearach (97333) | more than 2 years ago | (#36127432)

The implication I forgot to be explicit about, only if they are using it as an effective tool of political expression does it go near China's policies.

Re:are they? (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#36127498)

That really depends. What if the Monarch is doing something really insulting?

Re:are they? (4, Informative)

x*yy*x (2058140) | more than 2 years ago | (#36127560)

In Thailand everyone has very high respect for the king. Practically every business has his picture on the wall and he is celebrated many times of year. And it's not just made up stuff, the people really do love and respect him. That's why, for example, if you drop a coin you should never stop it with your foot because that would make you stomp on the kings picture and it will be considered really rude by everyone who sees it. With so much respect from all the people, I don't think there is anything the king can do for it to be really insulting. Not that I think he would ever try.

That being said, the king almost never takes part in any political issue. It's for the government to handle, not the king. That's why neither side, not even the red shirts, will insult the king. He doesn't have any part in it and despite the internal conflicts, everyone loves the king. If someone really is insulting him, it's not for political reasons and hence can't be censoring political speech either.

Re:are they? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36127600)

And it's not just made up stuff, the people really do love and respect him.

I don't see how you can really tell given that it's illegal to 'insult' him. Are ALL (or even most) of the people who get upset when you stop a coin with your foot really upset that you insulted the king or some/many of them just playing it safe?

And even if their 'respect' for him is genuine in the sense that they really believe it themselves, is it actually meaningful if it's based on a society in which they're not allowed to hear anything insulting about him?

Re:are they? (0)

x*yy*x (2058140) | more than 2 years ago | (#36127678)

Well, it's not like he wrote those laws. They were written by the government, aka people. In fact, the king himself has freed people who have insulted him from jail. It's completely different situation from something like North Korea or China. And yes, having lived there, I think the people do genuinely respect him.

And when I was living in Thailand back when the red shirt thing was going on fully, it was actually quite interesting to see that there were some foreigners who took part in it. Foreigners, who clearly had no understanding how the thai culture and people work, and they tried to be as loud as possible. In my opinion you should leave internal things for their own countries to handle. You are there as a guest, not because you want to spend your extra energy on issues you know nothing about.

Re:are they? (0)

x*yy*x (2058140) | more than 2 years ago | (#36127702)

Add to that it shows even how immature slashdot is again, writing stuff like "Bhumibol Adulyadej not only likes the delicacy of horse cock but also spends time with the sheep and goats in one huge farm orgy." down in the discussion, while he has nothing to do with it and might even be against those laws (but he has no power to do anything about them). Oh well.

Re:are they? (1)

Boronx (228853) | more than 2 years ago | (#36132324)

He has immense power precisely because people (in Bangkok anyways) love him. He could just come out and say "I don't think such and such laws are a good idea." or "I don't think it's right to censor" or "The military shouldn't depose elected officials" and these things would stop.

Re:are they? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36127724)

And yes, having lived there, I think the people do genuinely respect him.

Maybe like the other foreigners you decry in the rest of your post, you don't really understand their culture and aren't qualified to say. Then again, maybe you're just better than everyone else.

Re:are they? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36129060)

My wife is Thai and never gets tired of telling me how much the people of Thailand love and respect their king. Maybe it's all an act but every Thai person I've met has gone along with it 100% even when there's no possibility of punishment, as here in the U.S.

Occam's razor suggests that they are, or might as well be, sincere.

Respect and religion (1)

zoomshorts (137587) | more than 2 years ago | (#36127710)

"I don't see how you can really tell given that it's illegal to 'insult' him. Are ALL (or even most) of the people who get upset when you stop a coin with your foot really upset that you insulted the king or some/many of them just playing it safe?"

The head is the spiritual part of the body and the foot is the lowliest part of the body in their culture. Pointing a foot at someone is an insult.
See where this is going?

Re:Respect and religion (1)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 2 years ago | (#36130400)

+1 informative. The first thing you learn as a tourist in Thailand is never touch someone on the head, and never ever touch or even point at people with your foot. So yes, if you touch someone's head with your foot, that's pretty much the worst insult imaginable.

That said, I've never quite heard about not stepping on coins during the four years I lived in Bangkok, but I wouldn't put it past them.

Not a very strange custom, though, since they don't wear shoes inside the house, and they wear flip-flops outside the house, feet can get very dirty and black on the soles during the day.

Of course, Thais find it very strange that Westerners walk in their homes wearing their dirty shoes, don't use a water sprayer when they wipe their asses after using the toilet, and kiss their dogs.

Re:are they? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36127846)

In Thailand everyone has very high respect for the king

I used to work in Thailand during the 1990s, and indeed I did never hear somebody criticise the king. Two times a day the national anthem (composed by the king himself) is being played, and everybody stops and stands up. A friend of mine who just arrived in the country from Europe, was waiting in a railway station and did not stand up. Immediately a soldier came pushing her with his machine gun to make her stand up, so all these tokens of respect are not that spontaneous.

That being said, the king almost never takes part in any political issue. It's for the government to handle, not the king.

That is a lie: Thailand did have more coups d'états than elections in the past century. A coup succeeds if the king condones it, it fails if the king is against it. It really is that simple.

That's why neither side, not even the red shirts, will insult the king. He doesn't have any part in it and despite the internal conflicts, everyone loves the king. If someone really is insulting him, it's not for political reasons and hence can't be censoring political speech either.

Nobody can afford to say something against the king, whatever the colour of their shirt. Insulting a king is always political speech. Also, go to the Thai embassy in your country and read the text about "Buddhist monarchy" which is posted on the wall, it really sounds medieval. At least it is not quite as ridiculous as it used to be in Indonesia (during Suharto rule), where insulting the president was considered "blasphemy".

Re:are they? (1)

WorBlux (1751716) | more than 2 years ago | (#36127998)

I used to work in Thailand during the 1990s, and indeed I did never hear somebody criticise the king. Two times a day the national anthem (composed by the king himself) is being played, and everybody stops and stands up. A friend of mine who just arrived in the country from Europe, was waiting in a railway station and did not stand up. Immediately a soldier came pushing her with his machine gun to make her stand up, so all these tokens of respect are not that spontaneous.

The only place anything like that happens in the U.S. is a courtroom.

Re:are they? (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 2 years ago | (#36131418)

Immediately a soldier came pushing her with his machine gun to make her stand up, so all these tokens of respect are not that spontaneous.

I live in Thailand now (not in the past like your did) and I've never once seen that happen or experienced that and I usually just keep walking in Train stations regardless of national anthem or not, but then I guess I am wrong because of your "expert" advice from 20 years ago.

Also I think your story is bullshit because there aren't soldiers with machine guns at train stations.

Re:are they? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36129766)

The King Is A FINK!

Re:are they? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#36129970)

FWIW, in the Soviet Union in the first half of 20th century, most everyone had very high respect for the General Secretary [wikipedia.org] - very much genuine and not faked. We have a word for that - it's called a cult of personality [wikipedia.org] . It's fundamentally incompatible with a free society.

Re:are they? (1)

RockDoctor (15477) | more than 2 years ago | (#36132458)

Agreed with your description of a "cult of personality" - and it probably is valid for Lenin, the first few years of Stalin, some of Khrushchev, some of Brezhnev's time in office.

But if it's "fundamentally incompatible with a free society", what do you make of the personality cults of Franklin, Washington, Lincoln, Kennedy (JF), Reagan (if you're an American), or Churchill, Queen Brenda, Lady Di and The Maggon if you're a Brit. Other countries can make up their own lists.

I'll throw Tom Paine into the list of personality cults, just to mix things up a bit.

Re:are they? (2)

cgenman (325138) | more than 2 years ago | (#36131108)

Vajiralongkorn is one heart attack away from the throne. People may love this king (and with reasonably good reason, from what I've seen), but there is no way they're going to worship Vajiralongkorn without a gun pointed at them.

Unless Sirindhorn somehow gets voted into skipping past Vajiralongkorn, The moment Bhumibol catches a cold Thailand is in deep trouble.

Re:are they? (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 2 years ago | (#36132004)

Oh get bent. When it is a criminal offence with up to fifteen years imprisonment what else can they do. Any lying, overweening, egotistical freak, who thinks it could be a criminal offence when other people's opinions differ with his grossly over inflated view of himself has to be some real low life ass hat.

Nothing ever excludes an individual from taking a proper moral stance about any issue. Clearly this issue, monarchy an anachronistic political deciet based upon centuries of torturing to death dissent and in this case imprisonment for, oh no, hurting the feelings of an asshat, are the opposite of democracy and freedom.

As for 'everyone' loves the monarchy, are you bloody joking, deluded or just a Thai monarchist propagandist. My opinion, anyone who hides behind a crap law like this, is a cowardly, gutless, disingenuous, ego inflated, narcissistic freak, with delusions of grandeur and a pomposity that could only be achieved with mental genetic faults resulting from inbreeding taken to an extreme.

Re:are they? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36129250)

Before we get so superior feeling, consider this, "ls it better to have citizens monitor things, or to have the government monitor EVERYTHING? "

Re:are they? (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 2 years ago | (#36136946)

One question I have is, are they actually censoring things that do in fact insult the monarchy, or are they using that to suppress other political speech.

Yes, but not very effectively.

Political bickering and infighting is so intense and changes in government so frequent in Thailand that no one really has enough power for long enough to silence political speech. Second thing is, political speech isn't really on-line in Thailand, most of it is done through public speech and SMS with mobile phones being a lot more prolific then computers. Political motivation is often bought, people can get paid to put on the right colour of shirt and turn up at a protest, 200 Baht (US$8) a day

After this comes the fact that the people doing the censorship really don't give a shit. "Mai bpen rai" is the Thai phrase, roughly equivalent to "she'll be right" in Australia, the people actually in charge of the implementation will be doing the minimal amount of work possible, think of the laziest government employee you've ever met, multiply that laziness by 10 and you'll have some idea.

Unstable politics + practically no work ethic = ineffective censorship. More Porn gets blocked, but you can still access RedTube in Thailand without a proxy.

so do the scouts sing (2)

mjwalshe (1680392) | more than 2 years ago | (#36127434)

"tomorrow belongs to me round the campfire" instead of "Kumbayah"

Re:so do the scouts sing (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#36127480)

Just like the Boy Scouts of America, the Thai scouts are buggered on a daily basis by their effeminate ladyboy scoutmasters.

Re:so do the scouts sing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36128198)

No, they sing "The monarch of Thailand likes little boys (and girls too) and he supports Santos" in d-minor

Re:so do the scouts sing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36129714)

No, they sing "we misplace quotes -- because they do, by about" a country mile.

Tor, darknets, etc. (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#36127438)

There are plenty of ways people in Thailand could protect themselves from this sort of overt censorship, if they wanted to do so.

Re:Tor, darknets, etc. (3, Insightful)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 2 years ago | (#36127540)

While true, that's hardly the point. Being able to hide from a repressive regime does not justify or negate the actions of that regime.

Fuck the monarchy (4, Funny)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 2 years ago | (#36127450)

I fart in king Bhumibol's general direction. His mother was a binturong and his father smelt of durians.

Re:Fuck the monarchy (2, Interesting)

Aighearach (97333) | more than 2 years ago | (#36127494)

Before we get carried away using it as an excuse to be an a-hole, lets also remember that the King is not the one who complains about the insults, but rather his fervent supporters. He didn't write these laws, he isn't part of the legislative process to approve them, and he is not the one you should hold responsible.

Re:Fuck the monarchy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36127524)

It looks as though the king is pretty old and ill. And I guess he probably knows nothing of this. [wikipedia.org]

Considering that Thailand is supposed to be a Constitutional Monarchy, I find it even more disturbing that this shit is happening. So, others are acting in the king's name, eh?

Anyway, why do you give a shit if people are going to say shit about the king of Thailand?

Re:Fuck the monarchy (0)

x*yy*x (2058140) | more than 2 years ago | (#36127598)

Considering that Thailand is supposed to be a Constitutional Monarchy, I find it even more disturbing that this shit is happening. So, others are acting in the king's name, eh?

Yes, the general population is. Everyone in Thailand highly respects and loves the king. If you insult the king, even alone with a thai, you will be really rude. It's not because the law says you should not insult the king, it's because everyone has such a high respect for him. You will most likely get your ass kicked from the general population if you go around insulting the king.

Re:Fuck the monarchy (5, Insightful)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 2 years ago | (#36127552)

He does hold some responsibility. I don't know the precise details of the situation, but if the supporters are that fervent then I'm sure his making a speech along the lines of "If you wish to defend my honour and my dignity, do so not by repressing people in my name, but by protecting above all else the freedom of every person to speak as they wish, regardless of how abhorrent you may find what they choose to say." would go a very long way towards pointing them in the right direction.

Re:Fuck the monarchy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36127912)

I doubt even the world's longest-reigning monarch is more full of himself than you are.

Re:Fuck the monarchy (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#36128816)

exactly, we're not talking about a religious icon here, we're talking about a living human being. if transgressions are being committed in his name, he has the authority and the moral responsibility to say "if this is done in my name, stop doing it"

Re:Fuck the monarchy (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 2 years ago | (#36131486)

No he doesn't, he's a monarch like in England. He has no power to make laws or tell people what to do and he has already spoken out that he's not above criticism. Any laws in Thailand have to be voted in or out by its people and no one will propose to get rid of such laws because their political careers would be over; hence the reason there are so many fucked up rules here.

Re:Fuck the monarchy (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#36134248)

if your name is fred quimby, and you are a nobody, and people start setting houses on fire, and they say "we're doing this in the name of fred quimby", if you have any morality about you, you say "if you really are doing that in my name, please stop, as i don't want you to."

it's an observation beyond the legality of the monarchy, it's about basic morality. if something wrong is done in your name, you make sure to say that your name has nothing to do with it

Re:Fuck the monarchy (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 2 years ago | (#36137110)

He's been in hospital for 2 years, he's around 86 years old. The internet is the least of his problems let alone having to personally denounce every moron that pretends to do something in his name.

Re:Fuck the monarchy (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#36137240)

then he's concerned about his legacy. and one sentence out of his mouth would dispel all doubt as to his moral fiber

or lack thereof

i understand that thailand is going through problems. if the king does not speak now, then when does he ever speak? and if he doesn't speak, even now, of what value is he to his country at all?

everyone loves him? ok. then he's not a human being in the eyes of the thai people. he's just an abstract symbol, not a real person. as the thai people have decided. as he has agreed to. what kind of relationship is this?

if i were him, i would yearn mightily to speak up, and identify the real breathing human being and his real feelings underneath all the layers of inhuman symbolism that the thai people have burdened him with without his permission

and in the name of the country he is supposed to love, he does not speak? that's not love

what kind of love says nothing to what it is supposed to love, and what he is supposed to be loved by speaks of him as if he isn't even there?

it's absurd. love a rock. love a fish. love a durian. same kind of relationship: no response, and no permission needed to speak of your object of love as if it didn't matter what that object thought. it's inhuman

if the thai king is a real human being, let us see him act like one, and let us see the thai people receive him as such. all other realities are dysfunctional, and hurt the country of thailand in the long run

the status of the relationship of the thai king and his people is poisonous to thailand, and part of thailand's problems. that the thai people accept this lame status quo is a sign of how deep thailand's problems are. it's just very sad to me. let the king speak. any feeling against that impulse, on the part of the thai people or the thai king, is the root of the problems with thailand

Re:Fuck the monarchy (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 2 years ago | (#36131472)

He HAS made speeches publicly about how he is not above criticism it doesn't matter because he's the king and everyone respects him to a level that is just beyond a westerners understanding. It doesn't matter what he does because it has very little to do with what the king does or doesn't do and more about what the people that use him as a political tool do.

Even getting rid of the law is an impossibility because the king can't do that, it's people must vote it in. Who the hell is going to commit political suicide by proposing to get rid of the les majesty laws? No one because their opponents would be quick to take advantage of it to gather support.

Re:Fuck the monarchy (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 2 years ago | (#36137024)

He does hold some responsibility. I don't know the precise details of the situation

The king holds no political power what so ever. If he did wield political power, the Leste Majesty laws would be gone by now. Several times he's called for them to be changed or removed and he grants a royal pardon to anyone convicted by them.

The king has popular power, which is used against him as much as for him. Politico's invoke his name to create bad laws, even if the King speaks out against them he is powerless as the monarch wields not actual power in Thailand.

Plus the King is not in good health, he does not have the strength to fight the entrenched political families that rule Thailand.

Re:Fuck the monarchy (1)

Holammer (1217422) | more than 2 years ago | (#36127594)

As I understand it, he still allows the process to go on and "graciously" pardons any wrongdoers from time to time. Usually when the case gets too much publicity or involves foreigners. What's stopping him from speaking out against the lèse majesté laws? The constitution, or the fact that he's in bed with the establishment?

Re:Fuck the monarchy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36127916)

In Soviet Russia, King Bhumibol insults YOU!

Might as well get this over with. (5, Informative)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 2 years ago | (#36127472)

Bhumibol Adulyadej likes horse cocks.

there we go.
now slashdot will be nice and invisible from Thailand.

Re:Might as well get this over with. (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 2 years ago | (#36127510)

Bhumibol Adulyadej likes horse cocks.

there we go. now slashdot will be nice and invisible from Thailand.

That reminds me of a scene in Black Adder .. "This sausage tastes like a horses willy"

Re:Might as well get this over with. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36127634)

Bhumibol Adulyadej not only likes the delicacy of horse cock but also spends time with the sheep and goats in one huge farm orgy.

Re:Might as well get this over with. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36127780)

Um, guys. This is Thailand we're talking about. How do we know that isn't just ordinary business before breakfast?

Bhumibol Adulyadej wears last year's sunglasses. There. Now that oughta do it.

Re:Might as well get this over with. (1)

mickwd (196449) | more than 2 years ago | (#36127970)

And if the result of your action is that Slashdot IS indeed made invisible from a whole country, and that 50-60 million people are indeed cut off from a potentially interesting and useful source of technical information and discussion, I'm sure you'll feel insanely proud of yourself.

Insanely proud of typing the typical juvenile response that comes to stories like this, and insanely proud about not giving a toss about the potential consequences to millions of people who have done no harm whatsoever to you.

(Yes, yes, we all know that those who are technically knowledgeable enough can get round any ban by using suitable proxies, but only a small subset of people have that required level of knowledge).

Re:Might as well get this over with. (1)

Nuskrad (740518) | more than 2 years ago | (#36128028)

(Yes, yes, we all know that those who are technically knowledgeable enough can get round any ban by using suitable proxies, but only a small subset of people have that required level of knowledge).

Coincidentally, the same small subset that reads Slashdot!

Re:Might as well get this over with. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36128312)

commie bastards and islamists blocks slashdot

Re:Might as well get this over with. (2)

mpos (2153652) | more than 2 years ago | (#36128438)

And if the result of your action is that Slashdot IS indeed made invisible from a whole country, and that 50-60 million people are indeed cut off from a potentially interesting and useful source of technical information and discussion, I'm sure you'll feel insanely proud of yourself.

For frak sake, why should he be ashamed because other people are against freedom of speech ? You cannot be friend with everybody. Why should I adapt to the least tolerant culture ? Btw, every body know that King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand has elephant-ear and like sucking good hard cock while he fucks a dog and his ass is fucked by a pig.

Re:Might as well get this over with. (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 2 years ago | (#36129224)

ah yes, lets all conform to the lowest common denominator then.

from a glance at this topic, even without my post slashdot would be blocked fast so I don't feel guilty in any way.

I'm not stopping anyone from seeing slashdot, some censorship happy thugs are.

Re:Might as well get this over with. (1)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 2 years ago | (#36128680)

Or, from what I recall from an older hullabaloo from Thailand:

"Bhumibol Adulyadej has a foot for a face"

I don't know, he could be a great guy. But this weird cult mentality situation deserves to be mocked.

Re:Might as well get this over with. (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 2 years ago | (#36131618)

You'd do better insulting the people who use him to get their political opponents arrested then insulting an 86 year old man who has been in hospital for the last 2 years and has no idea what anyone is doing or why people are still being arrested after he said he's not above criticism.

I don't get it (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36127486)

Even their king himself has held an anti-censorship stance. He pardons everyone who has been accused and sentenced to jail for insulting him, as far as I know. He is the only reason that the military coup in Thailand hasn't turned out like military dictatorships in other countries (Myanmar, for example), because he's the one person all Thais, no matter how opposed, seem to gather around.

So is his choice to not deem these censorship laws null and void under his own monarchal power, some kind of pseudo-psychic political chess-play like you might find out of an Asimov novel?

Re:I don't get it (4, Informative)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#36127508)

The King is playing a difficult game. If he too blatantly uses his reserve powers to bash the current leadership, he risks, regardless of how popular he is, undermining the Monarchy itself, which as you point out, is about the only defense the Thai people have against the current regime. As much as people so often decry monarchies in the modern age, they serve the purpose of depriving the government of the day of ultimately executive power, and because the succession is, to a very large degree, beyond political interference, the government has little capacity to get a friendly chief executive.

Re:I don't get it (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36128130)

Also, he and his family do have a serious personal stake and fortune to protect. In a far-from-rich country, he still manages to be the wealthiest monarch in the world.
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhumibol_Adulyadej

People say Thais love their king, and they do, but the story is more complicated than that. Imagine a society where you must always revere both your elders and your 'superiors', to the extent that you must always Wai them (a kind of bow/greeting) and must never contradict them or speak badly about them. Now elevate that to the ultimate superior in the country who is now also very elderly. (Thais even Wai *photos* of the royals!) Add the Lese Mageste laws, so that you have literally never heard or read even a single bad word about him. (Even not standing up at the beginning if a movie at the theatre when the King's Song is played, which HE wrote by the way, will land you in jail for several years -- unless the king oh so graciously pardons you.) And finally add the fact that he's generally a decent guy, renaissance man, who has done a lot of work to help the poor (but how much effort, really, given that he is still THE WORLD'S RICHEST MONARCH in a country where the poor still had no access to freaking health care without mortgaging their and their family's futures!). That's Thailand.

The locals don't know (and are legally prohibited from talking about it if they did, thank you Lese Mageste) the fact that his wife, the queen, supported the Yellow Shirt's successful coup to take over from the Red Shirts, who were the choice of the poor and lower classes in a democratic election. The Red Shirts gave the people affordable health care, for one thing. Do you really think Thais would still love their king if some of these details were allowed out in the open to be discussed over the past 60 years...?! I don't think so.

Re:I don't get it (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 2 years ago | (#36131564)

The red shirts of who you speak only have one goal which is to re-elect Taksin the former prime minister who is currently on the run from corruption charges.

You spew bullshit about his democratically elected brother-inlaw which became prime minister after him and now his sister is going to try to become prime minister. What other country allows one family to continue becoming the prime minister? None, because he and his followers are corrupt. Also democratically elected doesn't mean vote buying which is what he is guilty of hence why their political party was banned for five years.

It's nice that you try to come on slashdot and convince the ignorant that the king is all evil and eats babies but the simple fact is it has nothing to do with him.

The Red Shirts gave the people affordable health care, for one thing.

The red shirts did no such thing. They're not a political party, they're rioters that burned down half of bangkok last year. They fired grenades at the train and anti-supporters in silom. They killed lots of people in their "demonstrations" including police officers. I've walked through their demonstations, I've seen their supporters with m16s so don't tell me I don't know what I'm talking about unlike you, some foreigner that gets all their news from his country wife.

It's true that they too have been killed but it's pretty much their own fault, you don't start a gun fight then complain about being shot.

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36132196)

What other country allows one family to continue becoming the prime minister?

Singapore.

Re:I don't get it (1)

Boronx (228853) | more than 2 years ago | (#36132346)

The people in Bangkok have no concept of what the rest of the country is like. Even the lowest house servant in Bangkok thinks folks from the countryside are hicks who's political opinions are worthless. Bangkok is only a third of the population. You are a minority.

Re:I don't get it (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 2 years ago | (#36132490)

I've been to both the red shirt and yellow shirt demonstrations and seen how the leaders of both repeat the same "facts" over and over again till the point that the people there believe that they are the true saviours while the other side is pure evil.

I've seen the red shirt demonstrators with guns and performing illegal searches on peoples cars. I saw them burning buildings after the government told them to leave. Yet you wonder why people have such a low opinion of them in Bangkok when they are burning their work places down or throwing explosives at the anti-demonstrators protesting them to leave bangkok?

You realise that both the yellow and red shirt demonstrators only make up 5% of the population right? So no, they are not a majority. They're a bunch of violent thugs that wish to blame Bangkok citizens for their poverty.

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36131140)

Protect the paper tiger! It might get wet!

how do we spell this thing beginning with h-y-p... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36127502)

soooo is this a good place to point out that the US govt is being nice and busy cracking down on sites they suspect of infringing IP

lol pot, kettle, black

Protect the children ? (1)

cdp0 (1979036) | more than 2 years ago | (#36127570)

A growing tactic among the ruling elite is to accuse the political opposition of insulting the king, allowing for censorship and political imprisonment of those who dare speak out.

Since child prostitution exists and is unofficially accepted there [wikipedia.org] , they can't go for "protect the children" slogan, so they are going for "protect the king".

Re:Protect the children ? (1, Informative)

x*yy*x (2058140) | more than 2 years ago | (#36127714)

No it's not even unofficially accepted. You go to jail for a long time if police catches you.

Re:Protect the children ? (2)

Ironhandx (1762146) | more than 2 years ago | (#36128068)

Well, it is, and isn't.

In Thailand, like many other countries that are not the US(not that you'd know these countries exist) The minimum age for it to be actual child prostitution is 14, not 18. This one fact reduces the 40% of total prostitution being child prostitution on that very slanted wikipedia article down to around 5%. Which given the amount of prostitution plus general illegal activity means it actually is being prosecuted.

Shit, Canada made it onto the map for "massive child prostituion in British Columbia" a few years ago due to a Wikipedia article. Article stated age of majority was 18, It wasn't. It was 14, in addition, the prostitutes to which it referred were all vast majority over the new statutory age which is 16. I'm personally good with this change. 14 is a little too low to set the bar, but a LOT of fucking people can(and do in the US or so I've heard) get caught with a 16 or 17 year old because they look like freaking 25 or something.

I have a few friends that would probably be in jail right now, and honestly, if it had been a different night and I hadn't had a girlfriend at the time, to look at the girls, it could have been me.

Re:Protect the children ? (1)

S.O.B. (136083) | more than 2 years ago | (#36130842)

I think you're confusing age of consent and age of majority. In Canada, the age of consent for sexual activity is 16 years [justice.gc.ca] , prior to 2008 it was 14. The age of consent for sex workers is 18. Sex workers under the age of 18 in Canada are by definition child prostitutes. Canada also enforces the 18 year age of consent for sex workers on it's citizens when they travel abroad.

The age of majority refers to the age at which people become adults in the eyes of the law (voting, signing contracts, etc) and has nothing to do with sexual activity.

In Thailand, the age of consent is 15 for non sex workers and 18 for sex workers. Although prostitution is quite accepted in Thailand, child prostitution is not.

Re:Protect the children ? (1)

Ironhandx (1762146) | more than 2 years ago | (#36132426)

Hmm, I've never actually read that section of the law myself. I guess I should have, though while IANAL I have been misled by one apparently(friend of a friend type thing).

I guess for prostitution however the age of majority would affect it since there is an implied contract there. Its a little moot however since they apparently have it written out specifically for that situation, which isn't surprising.

Was the 18 age of consent for a sex worker thing in there before Harper started mucking about with the laws though? If it wasn't then perhaps I got good information at the time.

Re:Protect the children ? (1)

S.O.B. (136083) | more than 2 years ago | (#36133392)

I don't know for sure how long but I do know that the age of consent for sex workers has been explicitly defined as 18 since the late 1980's when a law was passed clarifying the age of consent/prostitution laws. This was part of the constitutional free-for-all created by the passing of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms [wikipedia.org] section of the Constitution Act 1982.

giant ears! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36127624)

Wow look at the size of his (Bhumibol Adulyadej) ears in the video, African elephants would be jelous..

Thai ladyboys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36127924)

Suck

Hear the one about the King of Thailand? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36128030)

Me neither.

the thing is... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36128184)

the king seems to be an alright guy. He's probably altogether pretty fucked off with the situation in his country, and the military using him etc.

I think we'd be better off insulting the thai military.

Fuck the monarchy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36128294)

I am quite sure the king is a puzzy ..wait a sec. Why are you taking me?

Not censoring only king, but at least they suck.. (1)

TomYumKum (2156452) | more than 2 years ago | (#36128546)

at it.

There's lots of things censored. Red tube & other porn sites, Amazon sites for books about the king, gambling sites.

But at least they suck at it. You can access the RedTube if you get an address that isn't the front page (actually I just checked and that was old info, now it's blocked everywhere). Some of the blocked addresses (I've seen the list) include a "#something". Obviously the # and after won't be sent so you can still access the "blocked" page.

This is about some volunteers? I'm pretty sure they spent ~$15M making a new unit to find web pages that say bad things about the king.

Throwaway account, don't want to have any problems here.

The key thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36128798)

Are they censoring all that shemale pornography?

to hell with all monarchies (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#36128884)

as symbols of a nation, they can be replaced with a statue or a park

monarchies are antiquated nonsense that symbolize a nondemocratic impulse in general society that needs to go away

the french, the russians, the nepalese, they had the right idea

death to the queen of england

death to the emperor of japan

death to the king of thailiand

Re:to hell with all monarchies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36132562)

So can your president

Re:to hell with all monarchies (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#36134258)

a president is elected by the people. that makes him a legitimate representation of the people's will. a monarchy has no such legitimacy. monarchies are illegitimate outdated expensive and pointless in the modern era. of any country. to hell with all monarchies, may they all end ASAP

Re:to hell with all monarchies (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 2 years ago | (#36136994)

the french, the russians, the nepalese, they had the right idea

The French:
Ushered in a dictator called Napoleon who launched France on two major wars which they lost both of, losing much of their overseas colonies in the process. Not to mention the bloody executions which were not just restricted to the monarch and royalist but any kind of political dissident.

The Russians
Ushered in a group of dictators called the Bolsheviks which robbed their resource rich nation of prosperity for a century, a legacy which continues to this very day.

Me thinks you didn't think that statement through.

Re:to hell with all monarchies (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#36137046)

its called growing pains

are you honestly going to say a monarchy is better?

for example, china is better off as a democracy. getting there of course will involve pains. is your argument then that china is better as it is now and should never improve its sorry political status quo? of course not, unless you're an idiot or an asshole

Re:to hell with all monarchies (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 2 years ago | (#36137214)

are you honestly going to say a monarchy is better?

Currently living in a constitutional monarchy and doing quite well for ourselvesm thank you for asking.

Same with most of the constitutional monarchies in the world. Especially in Europe.

for example, china is better off as a democracy

You're high aren't you?

China? Democracy?

He, he, he, very funny good sir.

China is currently very dictatorial.

Meanwhile, how's Japan doing?

its called growing pains

Funny thing US to UK English.
You call it "growing pains".
We call it "bloodthirsty dictatorship".

Your initial examples were terrible, rather then trying to create better ones, you've dug the hole even deeper by trying to use China as an example of democracy.

You really don't know what you're on about do you.

Re:to hell with all monarchies (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#36137444)

hey, asshole: i said monarchy. a constitutional monarchy is very different. you're obviously intelligent enough to understand the difference between a monarchy pre-french or russian revolution style, which was obviously what the fuck i was talking about, and a constitutional monarchy. you are intelligent enough to understand the difference, right twatstain?

which leads me to the conclusion that you aren't interested in an honest discussion, so i didn't even bother to read the rest of your comment

All these comments (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 2 years ago | (#36129332)

All these comments, and not a single one regarding his enlightened view of the sexes [imdb.com] . It is a puzzlement.

Re:All these comments (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 2 years ago | (#36131588)

because that's a over dramatised fiction movie. A lot of Thai people despise this movie for it's non-facts.

It's like I tried passing off "Team America" as a factual representation of America.

Re:All these comments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36132828)

It is.

censoring is for n00bs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36129616)

Here in the west, we like to confiscate offensive websites.

You may not know... (1)

kuei12 (1555897) | more than 2 years ago | (#36130244)

These laws were put into effect by the Thai citizens out of a great love and respect for their king. The government, in this case, is just following the wishes of the enormous amount of people who love and support their king. I could see the confusion from the eyes of an american, because america has not had a president worthy such admiration in a long, long time. Typically, censorship is done by a government trying to control it's people. In this case, the people control the government. Something to think about. Maybe someday, america will have a leader worth protecting. But, I don't see that happening any time in the near future.

Re:You may not know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36130986)

Bullshit.

A Thai might say that to you because he or haven't read up or listened a bad word about his king since ever, due to the lese majestate law. The fucking King could start by paying his income taxes. Or by allowing the country to have a stable government instead of playing with coup d'etat - and you're fucking deluding yourself if you think he has nothing to do with it.

He's sucker, a bastard.

Stop protecting the fucker and read up the fucking the truth.

Re:You may not know... (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 2 years ago | (#36131594)

So why isn't gay marriage allowed in all of America? It's not because of the majority of the people disagree, right?

In Spain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36133536)

it was punishable to insult the king. Seems the EU have stomped out this idiocy, just about: http://royalnewsblog.com/2011/03/eu-rules-its-not-a-crime-to-insult-the-king/

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