Government threatens to sue Facebook over tattoos (video)


Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn was filmed strolling through what is believed to be a shopping center in Munich, Germany, with a lady friend last year. Thai authorities are calling the video “embarrassing” because he was wearing a skimpy top and was showcasing what are thought to be fake tattoos. The video was widely shared on Facebook.

King Vajiralongkorn came to power last year after his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, died at the age of 88. King Vajiralongkorn was the only son of the late monarch, yet had spent the majority of his life out of the public eye. Apparently in July of last year, Vajiralongkorn may have been in Munich.

The video shows the monarch with a number of tattoos on his arms, stomach, and back. The tattoos are thought to be transfers since they are different from tattoos viable in photographs taken at the Munich airport earlier that year. A sleeve tattoo seen in the later video is shorter than the one from the airport, and his belly was not tattooed in the earlier airport images.

King crop backThe nature of the images has prompted Thai authorities to threaten legal action against Facebook if the images are not removed by 10am Tuesday.

Although the video has been “geo-blocked” by Facebook, Thai authorities say there are still 131 pages that contain the “illicit” video.

“If even a single illicit page remains, we will immediately discuss what legal steps to take against Facebook Thailand,” said Takorn Tantasith, secretary-general of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission.

According to the Bangkok Post, the Thai Internet Service Provider Association emailed Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg last week. They asked to have the posts blocked.

Thailand has strict lese-majeste laws, and people can be jailed for sharing insulting material of the monarchy for up to 15 years.

Thai President Dimitris Christopoulos believes the law, which the Worldwide Movement for Human Rights says caused 105 people to be arrested since May 2014, is outdated.

“In less than three years, the military junta has generated a surge in the number of political prisoners detained under lèse-majesté by abusing a draconian law that is inconsistent with Thailand’s international obligations,” Christopoulos said.

H/T: The Daily Mail

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