Govt bans TV apology for Bangkok riots
The Thai government has banned a controversial television advert that apologises for the May 2010 riots in Bangkok, prompting a massive online protest on sites like YouTube and Twitter.
Thailand’s television joint censorship committee is prohibiting over-the-air television stations from broadcasting a new advert that offers a dramatic apology for the May 2010 uprising that left 90 people dead and 1,400 injured.
The committee's decision is prompting widespread anger across the Internet, both in Thailand and around the world. The spot entitled “Thailand, We’re Sorry” was produced by the Positive Group, a consortium of Thai media and communications companies. The committee reportedly ordered the ban out of concern that the images in the spot are “too extreme and risked defamation", according to The Nation newspaper in Bangkok.
Furthermore, according to posts on the microblogging service Twitter, the government is also reportedly concerned over images of torn Thai flags featured in the TV spot. While Thai authorities may want to suppress the video on TV, it is generating large audiences on social video networks, such as YouTube, where it has been viewed over 500,000 times.
Twitter users are also reacting with outrage over the government’s decision. Below is a sample of the Tweets posted by users around the world.
- @freakingcat: "Thanks to all tweeple, who stand up for the Right of Freedom of Expression "We're Sorry, Thailand" Video is getting famous!"
- @tumbler_p: "Apparently the "we're sorry, Thailand" TV advert was banned because it contained an image of a torn Thai national flag."