Facebook to Challenge Thailand’s Order to Block Group That Scrutinizes the Monarchy

Royalist Marketplace was created in April and quickly became a forum to debate the royal family’s role in politics

Pavin Chachavalpongpun said he started the Facebook group to have an open discussion on the monarchy and was surprised by how popular it became.

Photo: /Associated Press

香蕉视频苹果下载SINGAPORE— Facebook Inc. said it is preparing to legally challenge Thailand’s government in connection with orders to block access to a group on the website focused on the Thai monarchy, a politically sensitive subject in the country.

The private Facebook group, called the Royalist Marketplace, was created in April and quickly became a forum to debate and scrutinize the powerful royal family’s role in politics. It amassed a million members at a time when a youthful new movement is demanding greater accountability from the monarchy.

香蕉视频苹果下载The subject has long been considered off-limits in the country, which has strict lèse-majesté laws, including punishments of up to 15 years in prison. But pro-democracy activists are increasingly questioning those rules and calling for a change in the way the political system operates.

Facebook halted access to the group within Thailand late Monday, the latest example of the challenges the social media company faces in policing its platform and navigating complex political situations around the world. In Singapore, it has added a “correction notice” to a post authorities considered false and agreed to restrict access to dissident political content deemed illegal in Vietnam.

Facebook’s decision to take legal action against Thai government orders comes at a time when the company is facing criticism over what its current and former employees said was a pattern of favoritism in India toward the country’s ruling party.

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