Change.org back online in Thailand after 6-month blackout

Thailand once again has a place to register its positions on issues with a few clicks with the return of Change.org.

The site, a ubiquitous fixture of online social movements – and media coverage – declared this morning it had secured its return through a victory in the courts, six months after it was banned following a petition critical of King Vajiralongkorn.

“Throughout these months we had worked hard, fighting through the legal process for our mission to have the website’s access back. And eventually, a court ordered a lift of the ban on Change.org to protect freedom of expression, which all Thai people have the right to under the Thai constitution!” the site announced on social media, tagging it #ChangeisBack and #YouCan’tKillUs.

However, it’s worth noting that campaigns related to the Thai monarchy could no longer be found.

In mid-October, the popular petition website, run by a San Francisco for-profit organization, was blocked by Thailand’s three major service providers – AIS, DTAC and True, and traffic redirected to a blackout notice traced to TOT, the state-owned telecommunications company.

The blackout occurred at the height of pro-democracy protests, as thousands gathered to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha, a new constitution and reform of the monarchy. 

It was blocked soon after a campaign drew more than 130,000 signatures calling for the king to be declared persona non grata in Germany, a country where he spent most of his time until late last year. That petition no longer appears on the site.

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