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Is Pornography Illegal in Thailand?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing pornography here in the Kingdom of Thailand and specifically we are discussing the restrictions on pornography here in Thailand.

Specifically in Thailand pornography is illegal. Thailand has a very conservative culture. Notwithstanding the fact Thailand has a very tolerant culture, the overall cultural mores here are toward the conservative and pornography is no exception. Many foreigners come to Thailand and I think that they mistake the relaxed attitude of the Thais as well as the tolerant attitude towards things like the overall issue of sexuality insofar as it is a kind of "judge not lest ye be judged", "Live and let Live"  kind of society they do have laws to specifically uphold morality and the restrictions on pornography are one such example. 

In a recent article from thaivisa.com and they were they were translating from dailynews.co.th, the article in the Thai Visa was titled: Immigration get a Shock: Foreign Couple on Overstay Busted Making a Porn Movie in Krabi. Quoting directly: "Daily News reported that a hotel in Ao Nang, Krabi called Immigration after spotting that two of their guests were on over stay." I am not going to get into the details or the names of the people involved or anything but basically what happened is Immigration went to that couple's room in order to basically detain them it look like for the overstay, or at least question them regarding the overstay to determine that an overstay was in fact occurring. During the process of that investigation they found these folks “in flagrante” if you want to call it that and they interrupted what they were doing. Quoting further: "Both admitted to making porn movies and sending them to an obscene website abroad for financial gain. They were charged with making porn movies for money and being on overstay of 256 days." 

So first off, 256 days. That is a heavy overstay. If they were not arrested in Thailand the overstay in and of itself would have resulted in a prolonged bar from returning to Thailand. Because they were arrested and on such a substantial overstay, I think that they will probably be blacklisted for at least five years and I suspect actually 10 years under those circumstances. So we can presume that these folks are not going to be coming back to Thailand anytime soon. 

The reason for making this video specifically is not so much the overstay blacklisting connotations to the video; it is the issue of pornography itself. Those who are doing things that they might do back in their home country which are totally legal, so for example what folks do with a camera in their own bedroom is not only protected probably under certain privacy laws and privacy rights notions, for example in the United States it may explicitly be protected under the First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech, that is not the case here in Thailand. Thailand takes a pretty hard line with respect to pornography both making, selling, distributing it etc.  

So, the thing to take away from this video is if you are coming to Thailand, maybe go ahead and be a little bit circumspect about matters pertaining to adult entertainment material because Thailand takes a pretty hardline on pornography and it can result in unforeseen problems as it did to this couple in this scenario.