Twitter, Facebook face Thailand legal battle

Thailand is taking legal action against Twitter and Facebook.

That after they ignored requests to take down content.

Digital minister Puttipong Punnakanta announced the move at a news conference Thursday (September 24):

"Unless the companies send their representatives to negotiate or request further information, police can bring criminal cases against them. But if they do, and acknowledge the wrongdoing, we can settle on fines."

The digital ministry filed complaints with cybercrime police after the two firms missed a 15-day deadline to comply with takedown orders.

Google avoided any action, after its YouTube unit did take down videos as requested.

Officials haven’t disclosed details of the content at issue, or specified which laws were broken.

But Puttipong says more takedown orders will be issued to Facebook, Twitter and Google.

The minister says they will cover more than 3,000 items ranging from pornography to criticism of the monarchy:

"The point of proceeding with the law on this is that we want to block the illegal information from being distributed to people. We asked them to follow the court order but they don't follow through.”

Thailand has tough laws against insulting the king.

Its Computer Crime Act outlaws uploading information that is false, or affects national security.

It has also been used to prosecute online criticism of the royal family.