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Facebook faces threat of closure in Thailand

Facebook faces the threat of being shut down in Thailand after it failed to remove 131 posts out of a list of 309, with the ultimatum being issued to the social media giant last Thursday.

Thailand's National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission gave Facebook until 10am today (1pm AEDT) to remove the remaining posts on its site that the commission has deemed illegal, according to a report in the Bangkok Post.

The Commission said as of Monday, additional URLs were blocked on Monday, taking the total of offending posts that were not blocked to less than 100.

The country's military government is said to be pressuring the Thai Internet Service Providers Association to shut down access to Facebook unless all 309 URLs are blocked.

TISPA told the Post it could disconnect the content delivery network to Facebook's Thai site in the event that the company did not comply.

It added that, along with Internet gateway providers, it sent an email to Facebook's local office on Friday with a request to comply.

"If the relevant Thai authorities find any illegal content from www.facebook.com in our system — particularly the 131 URLs which have not yet been removed — concerned authorities will request that we shut down the CDN of www.facebook.com and other parts of the network to block such illegal content.

"This action may affect the entire delivery services of www.facebook.com to customers in Thailand," the email said.

The 309 posts are deemed to be illegal in Thailand and the country's Criminal Court has signed orders to this effect.

In 2015, Facebook was estimated to have 30 million subscribers in Thailand, a country of about 70 million people.

NBTC secretary-general Takorn Tantasith is scheduled to visit TISPA's office after the deadline set by authorities for the removal of the remaining illicit URLs has passed.


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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.


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