[JURIST] The Thai government said Friday that it has lifted a five-month ban on the popular video-sharing website YouTube [corporate website], now owned by Google [corporate website], after YouTube's site operator agreed to prohibit offensive videos from appearing on the site. Thailand banned access [JURIST report] to YouTube and several other websites in April that contained material deemed offensive to the country's monarch King Bhumibol Adulyadej. A video on YouTube depicting the king as a clown with feet pasted over his head, an insulting image in Thai culture that can amount to a criminal offense, caused outrage but received more than 16,000 viewers. In May, the Thai government opted not to sue Google [JURIST report] over the video clip.
The government did not provide a reason for lifting the ban, but Information and Communication Technology Minister Sitthichai Phokai-udom [IHT backgrounder] indicated to the Nation [media website] that Thailand agreed to lift the ban only after YouTube created a program that effectively blocks people using Thai Internet service providers from accessing similarly offensive video clips. AP has more. From Bangkok, the Nation has local coverage.