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Thailand sticks to YouTube ban

[JURIST] The government of Thailand [JURIST news archive] said Monday it will continue to block access to the popular video-sharing website YouTube [corporate website] until Google [corporate website], YouTube's owner, agrees to remove video clips deemed offensive to the country's monarch. Thailand originally banned access [JURIST report] to YouTube and several other websites April 4. The YouTube ban resulted from a video depicting King Bhumibol Adulyadej [Wikipedia profile] as a clown with feet pasted over his head, an insulting image in Thai culture that can amount to a criminal offense. The user who produced the original video clip has reportedly removed it, though a number of similar videos have since been uploaded to YouTube.

Thailand claims it is being treated unfairly because YouTube agreed with the government of China [JURIST news archive] to launch "Google.cn" [Wikipedia backgrounder], a censored version of its website, in January 2006 in accordance with the country's Internet censorship policy [Wikipedia backgrounder]. Thai Communications Minister Sitthichai Pookaiyaudoom said his country will attempt to negotiate with Google. AFP has more.

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