The move follows a new policy directive issued to the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society last week by Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan and comes after a Thai court in mid-October warned the government that it may not close mass media news outlets which are protected under provisions of the constitution.

Thailand has closed the worldwide sex site Porn Hub for violating the country’s Computer Crime Act. The move follows a warning last week from Deputy Prime Minister, Prawit Wongsuwan, that action would be taken against sites encouraging young people in Thailand towards ‘improper’ behaviour.

Thailand has closed the worldwide sex and pornography site Pornhub.

pornhub-shuttered-in-thailand
The Thai government, through its Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, on Monday, moved to shut down the controversial adult sex site Pornhub. It comes just days after the kingdom’s Deputy Prime Minister, Prawit Wongsuwan (centre), issued a strong new policy objective to the ministry to act against sites that caused ‘improper behaviour’ amongst the younger generation.

From Monday, November 2nd, closure orders have appeared on the site’s URL, pornhub.com, in Thailand signed by the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society citing the Computer Crime Act of 2007.

‘This content has been suspended. Because it is guilty according to the Computer Crime Act 2007 by the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society,’ the announcement stated.

Headquartered in Cyprus and Canada

There was initially reported to be confusion throughout the kingdom as some users still had access to the channel headquartered in Cyprus and Montreal, Canada which provides a wide variety of sex videos and images to growing audiences, including both men and women, around the world looking for sexual thrills online.

The controversial worldwide site is available in over twenty languages and has well over 100 million unique online users every month.

Bangkok is the 10th largest market for Pornhub

The closure of the site in Thailand will be a huge blow to the lucrative business as Bangkok was quoted as its 10th biggest market with New York, London and Paris coming in the top three slots.

The move comes amid stronger calls from conservatives in Thailand for action by the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society against websites and social networks which they claim are undermining Thailand’s traditional culture and values.

Criminal Court in mid-October warned the ministry that it may not close mass media news outlets

However, on the 18th of October last, after the ministry had moved against online news websites claiming legal violations and provocation of the current political unrest in the kingdom, the Criminal Court in Bangkok reversed closure orders against four online news outlets, using social media platforms, on the basis that the court was not properly informed that the outlets would go dark without those channels being available.

In its ruling, the court cited Sections 35 and 36 of the Thai Constitution which, it pronounced, does not allow the closure of mass media outlets representing the views of the public and their freedom to communicate.

The court, at the time, acknowledged the powers granted to the government under the Computer Crime Act including Sections 3 and Section 20 and Section 9 governing emergency situations. 

New policy directive issued to the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society last week by DPM Prawit

This was followed by a visit by the Deputy Prime Minister, Prawit Wongsuwan, to the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society last week where he emphasised the ministry’s critical role in responding to the threat to society posed by online media and issued a policy directive aimed at taking action against media outlets that promote ‘improper behaviour’ and disunity among the younger generation.

A spokesman for DPM Prawit, who is also the leader of the ruling political party, Palang Pracharat, Major General Patchasak Patirupanont, warned that moves would be taken against offending sites and those behind them, would face stringent action and criminal prosecution.

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About the Author

James Morris is a pename for an international writer based in Bangkok who works on various international news media. He is a sub editor with the Thai Examiner news website since it began in 2015. Son Nguyen is an international writer and news commentator specialising in Thai news and current affairs. He commenced working with the Thai Examiner News Desk in May 2018.

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