DES Explains Why They Blocked Pornhub After Thais Protest

Protests After Pornhub Blocked

The Digital Economy and Society Ministry (DES) has given additional reasons for blocking access to the adult video website Pornhub, stating it contains illegal content including child sex abuse and sexual exploitation.

DES Minister Buddhipongse Punnakanta said Pornhub hosts illegal material from hidden recordings to non-consensual pornography, as well as sexual abuse of children, which obliges the ministry to block it.

He said the ministry is looking into complaints against other porn websites and will block them, adding the authorities have taken similar action against illegal gambling websites. More than 2,000 betting sites have been blocked, he said.

Asked if laws should be revised to verify the age of viewers accessing adult websites, he said setting a minimum age is one thing, but a lot of content uploaded on Pornhub was illegal and justified the site being blocked.

He also said many websites blocked by the DES do not require verification to determine the age of viewers.

The ministry’s blocking of Pornhub has drawn criticism from a group calling itself the Anonymous Party, members of whom protested at the government complex in Chaeng Wattana on Tuesday against what they called was the violation of the people’s right to unfettered media access.

As of Tuesday afternoon, more than 190 URL addresses of the website, which claims to be the world’s leading free porn site, had been blocked under the DES order approved by the Criminal Court.

Thailand was in the top 20 for daily traffic to Pornhub in 2019 and a demonstration was held at the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society in the capital with protesters holding signs reading “Free Pornhub”.

Move Forward Party MP Thanyawat Kamolwongwat yesterday clarified the party was not speaking in defence of Pornhub when it criticised the ministry’s action. He said the party was concerned about government restrictions on people’s rights to access media.

He said protecting children from exposure to inappropriate content should be discussed separately.


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