A music video by Thai activist rap collective Rap Against Dictatorship has been blocked on YouTube in Thailand following an alleged legal complaint from the government.
The ‘Patiroop (Reform)’ video, which was originally released in November, was filmed during the country’s anti-government protests in Bangkok demanding royal reforms. The video featured the rap group walking with fellow supporters and protestors, and featured clips of the Grand Palace in the Thai capital.
Check out the music video below.
On January 4, Rap Against Dictatorship announced they had discovered the video’s ban from YouTube in Thailand. “Happy New Year, everyone. This is our New Year’s gift from our government,” they wrote on Facebook.
“Our music video ‘Reform’ was ordered to be banned by the government, which notified YouTube to restrict access.”
Since the video’s release, it has garnered over 9million views on YouTube. The video’s block in Thailand has since been corroborated by Coconuts Bangkok, but neither a reason nor confirmation that the Thai government had indeed ordered the block was given.
Accessing the video on YouTube from a Thai location now displays a message that reads, “This content is not available on this country domain due to a legal complaint from the government.”
สวัสดีปีใหม่นะครับทุกคน และนี่คือของขวัญปีใหม่จากรัฐบาลของพวกเรา Music Video เพลง "ปฏิรูป" ถูกคำสั่งจากรัฐบาล แจ้งให้ทางระบบบล็อคการเข้าถึงแล้วนะครับ
Rap Against Dictatorship then made another post on Facebook questioning the video’s removal as they were allegedly not given an explanation from YouTube or the government. They also told fans they can still watch the video by using a VPN.
This isn’t Rap Against Dictatorship’s first run-in with the Thai government. Member Dechathorn Bamrungmuang, also known as HockHacker, was arrested in late August following his participation in protests in July.
Pro-democracy protests have been taking place regularly across Thailand since early 2020, calling for urgent government reform and constitutional change.