#SavePornhub: Thailand’s ban on online porn has sparked strong outrage among local users

PornHub blocked in Thailand, again... Thais will be out on the streets protesting again. This time over an apparent blocking by the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society of the porn portal ‘PornHub’. The site was started in 2007 and has developed into one of the world’s most popular adult porn platforms and is the ‘go to’ favourite of Thais, well until yesterday anyway.

Many Thai users criticised the decision to shut the site in a country that was among the Top 20 by daily traffic for Pornhub in 2019 and which has a globally-known sex industry.

For the sake of those who wouldn't know: In Thailand, the internet is strictly filtered, mainly trying to block gambling and porn sites, as well as other sites that violate Thai law (e.g. insult). In Thailand, gambling and porn are illegal, interesting additions: prostitution - so adult work as escort job - is also illegal, as well as porn job and erotic filming ... but let’s not go deeper into that now.

Logging on (people told us) resulted in either a blank screen or various messages relating to the Computer Crimes Act of 2007.

pornhub in thailand

It isn’t the first time the website has been blocked in Thailand over alleged violations of the countries draconian computer crimes and obscenity laws. The Pattaya News reports that the problems are usually “quickly restored” and report as a “technical glitch” by the government although several internet providers admitted to being told to block the website.

Back in May, at the peak of Thailand’s lockdown, the porn site was also ‘locked down” drawing outcry on social media and a quick reversal of the situation.

An activist group called Anonymous Party posted a statement saying: "We want to reclaim Pornhub. People are entitled to choices." Another group, using the hashtag #SavePornhub, called a demonstration for Tuesday afternoon.

Pornhub did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Some Internet users asked whether the ban was about trying to protect Thai morals or because the site featured some compromising royal images.

Thailand's government has faced months of youth and student-led protests demanding the removal of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, a former military government leader, as well as calling for reforms to reduce King Maha Vajiralongkorn's powers.