True refuses to unblock pornhub after an online spat with netizens

A row between an internet user and internet service provider True over the pornographic website Pornhub on Monday night highlighted the limits of the country’s freedom of expression.

The row started when a twitter user asked True’s customer service account whether the ISP was limiting access to Pornhub, a website dedicated to providing free online pornography.

The tweet was retweeted over 17,000 times.

True’s official account replied that it indeed was blocking access to Pornhub as it was not appropriate.

True later appeared to walk back its earlier comments saying that it was not blocking anything and any problem should be reported to their maintenance team.

True Ire

However, as of Tuesday afternoon, Pornhub continues to be blocked by the ISP.

Calls by Thai Enquirer to True’s maintenance team were unanswered or unreturned. True’s Corporate PR Team told Thai Enquirer that it was looking into the matter.

It is not the first time that True has embraced the government’s restriction on freedom of speech.

In April, TrueVision posted a job listing on JobsDB for qualified candidates to monitor 17 “talk show and foreign news channels” for content that might be anti-monarchy or against Thailand’s constitution.

It said the candidate would censor the shows for the Thai audience or take them off the air.

Moral Fiber

Under regulations put forth by the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society and its predecessor the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, pornography along with Lese Majeste content are deemed harmful to Thai society.

The regulations were first put in place after the 2006 coup government took power. At the time, the government said that pornography decayed the moral fabric of Thai society.

Calls to the MDES were unanswered.

Despite these guidelines and restriction attempts by various ISPs, Thailand ranked in Pornhub’s top twenty countries by traffic in 2019. Thai users readily found ways to access the porn giants, placing 17th just ahead of Russia but below India and Ukraine.

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