Google refuses Thai government requests to remove YouTube videos in 2013


According to the latest Google Transparency Report based on data from July to December 2013, Google did not comply with any of the requests made by the government in Thailand to remove content that was deemed to be unacceptable.

The Thailand section of the report makes for very interesting reading, with the number of requests shooting up to 11 by the end of that year, as shown in the chart below. Note that each request can actually include multiple items, and it’s understood that the figure included 298 YouTube videos between July and December 2013.

As quoted by the report:

Request: We received two requests from the Thai Ministry of Communication, Information and Technology (MICT) to remove 298 YouTube videos.

Outcome: We did not remove content in response to this because the request was for global removals.

Google Transparency - Thailand Requests

In the breakdown, Google also reveals that they had another interesting request:

Request: We received a request from a member of the Royal Thai Parliament to remove a search result linking to a news article allegedly defaming that member of parliament.

Outcome: We did not remove content in response to this request for reasons of public interest.

The reason given for non-compliance was that the Thai government had asked for global removals.

Google Transparency - Request Reasons

Here’s the chart which shows the actual number of items that were requested to be removed:

Google Transparency - Items

Even back in 2011, Google did restrict access of Thai people to more than 100 YouTube videos. Google says that they didn’t remove them but only restricted access “to respect local laws”.

It was also revealed that Google was asked to provide the user details of 19 Google accounts, but Google did not provide the information according to the report.

In total, Google says that they received 3,105 requests from governments around the world between July and December 2013.

Source: Bangkok Post