Thailand began legal action on Thursday against Facebook FB.O and Twitter TWTR.N for ignoring requests to take down content, in its first such move against major internet firms, APA reports citing Reuters.
The digital ministry filed legal complaints with cybercrime police after the two social media companies missed 15-day deadlines to comply fully with court-issued takedown orders from Aug. 27, the digital minister, Puttipong Punnakanta, said.
No action was taken against Alphabet's Google GOOGL.O as originally suggested, as it took down all the YouTube videos specified in the order late on Wednesday, Puttipong said.
“This is the first time we’re using the Computer Crime Act to take action against platforms for not complying with court orders,” Puttipong told reporters.
“Unless the companies send their representatives to negotiate, police can bring criminal cases against them. But if they do, and acknowledge the wrongdoing, we can settle on fines.”
He did not disclose details of the content or say what laws it had violated. The complaints were against the U.S. parent companies and not their Thai subsidiaries, he said.
The ministry will file more such takedown requests to Facebook, Twitter, and Google, asking them to remove more than 3,000 items from their platforms, with content ranging from pornography to criticism of the monarchy, Puttipong said.
Twitter declined to comment, while Facebook and Google did not respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.