Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is driven by a vision of “connecting the world” and, though he has said a compromise is necessary in the case of countries like China where free speech is restricted, it is hard to see how that vision fits with kowtowing to a law that has gotten Thai people jailed for Facebook comments, or even merely receiving a message on the social network.
Facebook is blocking content from a number of users following an apparent request from the government. Thailand’s lèse-majesté law prevents criticism of the country’s royal family, and it looks like it is being used to suppress postings from a number of high-profile users who are writing about the transition to a new king, including journalist Andrew MacGregor Marshall. His 2014 book on the Thai royal family was banned and branded a “danger to national security and peaceful and orderly society.”
This isn’t the first instance of the social network upholding local law in Thailand. “Internet freedom declined in 2016 as the military leadership continued its efforts to codify censorship and surveillance powers through legislation,” Freedom House wrote.