Thailand No. 5 world’s top ‘net censor–really!-Herdict

May 10, 2009

[FACT comments: For the first time, Thailand has appeared in the list of top five countries imposing Internet censorship on their citizens. This is due to the fact that Herdict reporting software is being used intensively to provide accurate monitoring. Presumably, FACTsite is somewhere on that list! It should give Thai govt with all its pretensions of democracy to fall into an elite censorship club, just behind Iran, China, Moldova, and the United States (for reasons of copyright protection).]

Friday Top 5: Most Reported Countries (Inaccessibility)

Jillian C. York

Herdict: May 8th, 2009

As we now know, Internet filtering is no longer limited to the usual suspects (China, Iran, Burma); Herdict has allowed us to get wind of new filtering across the world, in places the OpenNet Initiative has never even tested.  That is why this week we’re bringing you the top 5 countries reporting inaccessibility!

1. Iran comes in at #1 with 63 reports of inaccessible sites.  While that’s not so surprising (after all, Iran is frequently marked by human rights groups as an “Internet enemy“), it’s interesting to note that the most reported sites are all news-related.  BBC Persian, Iran Press News, and others are all trending this week.

2. China, always a high-ranking censor of the Net, is #2 on our list this week.  While the inaccessibility of such sites as  YouTube, Tor, and The Official Website of the Central Tibetan Administration might come as no surprise, 25 inaccessibility reports for The Huffington Post just might.

3. Moldova, for which the OpenNet Initiative found no signs of filtering in 2007, comes in third this week, with 45 reports of inaccessibility.  Sites reported included Moldovan Jurnaltv (an “Internet TV” site which has been reporting on Moldova’s recent uprising), Facebook (only on some ISPs), and Unimedia, a Moldovan news site.

4. United States comes in at #4, with the top reported sites all cases of geolocational filtering (also known as reverse filtering) such as (which limits the site to UK users) and (which is accessible but prohibits users outside of Australia from viewing videos for copyright reasons).  In addition to these cases, there are a number of sites such as Facebook being reported as inaccessible from workplaces or public cafes.

5. Rounding out the list at #5 is Thailand, where the most-reported sites are blogs and social media platforms, such as this Ning group, which is an organizing platform for members of Thailand’s red shirt movement.

What Top 5 list would you like to see next week?  Let us know.

Jillian C. York is the Project Coordinator for the OpenNet Initiative and part of the fantastic Herdict Team. She created most of the textual content on the site, so if you spot something funny, let her know! She’s also the face behind the @Herdict Twitter feed.

3 Responses to “Thailand No. 5 world’s top ‘net censor–really!-Herdict”

  1. With several thousand blocked sites, why is Thailand no. 5? Why not no. 1?

  2. […] FACT blog with reference to Herdict  says so. Thailand is just behind  USA (#4), and Moldova (#3), China […]

  3. […] time, hit the top 5 list of country governments blocking access to the internet. See the story here or here. Thailand ranks fifth, after Iran, China, Moldova and the […]

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