Censorship is not a surprise in our world. Facebook is blocked in some countries, like China, for example, but this social network was always a place where you can find information without any restriction. This was before, but not anymore.
In Thailand country’s laws prohibits any public criticism of Thailand’s royal family. But one prominent journalist has discovered that his posts, along with posts from other users, regarding the royal transition following King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s death in October are apparently being blocked within Thailand, according to TechCrunch . The posts in question are available outside of Thailand, but unavailable within the country, suggesting that Facebook is censoring content based on the geographical location of users. The blocking seems to be in response to a government request. Facebook discloses government requests that it receives around the world, and notes that it restricted 10 pieces of content between January 2016 and June 2016 in Thailand.
It looks like Facebook was working on censorship tools that could restrict content based on geographical location. It appears that those tools are now ready for use and being implemented, considering what we’re seeing happen in Thailand.
Now if you want to avoid censorship in Thailand you can use a vpn service.
While Facebook continues to be officially banned in China, the social network can greatly improve the chances of ever getting into the country if it shows that its willing to play ball in terms of censorship. Given the sheer size of China’s market, Facebook will need to give commensurate thought into the decision since if it ever gains sanctioned access to China, it can potentially have a large social impact on the country and its users.
But the opportunity is too massive to ignore, so Facebook will likely have to compromise on censorship even if the company is against the idea on principle. These days, tech companies are also required to store user data within China, so in addition to providing technical tools for censorship, Facebook would need to invest in data center infrastructure as well.