Thailand: Music video of rap song censored on YouTube

12 February 2021
Image: Members of Rap Against Dictatorship filming Patiroop (Reform)/  Rap Against Dictatorship on Facebook


4 January 2021: The video clip of collective Rap Against Dictatorship’s latest song Patiroop (Reform) criticising royalty was banned on YouTube’s Thai domain for following an alleged legal complaint from the government, reported NME.

The rap group says that they have not received an explanation on the blocking of the video, neither from YouTube nor the responsible government agencies. They are not aware of what specific part of the video broke the law.

Rap Against Dictatorship (RAD) is an activist Thai group of dissident rappers including Liberate P, Zo9, Jacoboi, Numba9, SBSB, Zhln, 3฿one, Protozua and Hockhacker.

The song Patiroop (Reform) was released in November 2020 and has reached over 9 million views on YouTube.

RAD announced on Facebook on 4 January: “Happy New Year, everyone and this is New Year’s gift from our government,” referring to the censoring of their last music video.

When accessing the video, the page shows the message “this content is not available on this country domain due to a legal complaint from the government”, according to Rap Against Dictatorship on Facebook

สวัสดีปีใหม่นะครับทุกคน และนี่คือของขวัญปีใหม่จากรัฐบาลของพวกเรา Music Video เพลง "ปฏิรูป" ถูกคำสั่งจากรัฐบาล แจ้งให้ทางระบบบล็อคการเข้าถึงแล้วนะครับ

Posted by Rap Against Dictatorship on Monday, January 4, 2021


Although the song cannot be streamed on YouTube, it is available on Spotify, with more than 786,000 times played.

Patiroop  (Reform) is a politically motivated song that touches upon various topics related to the pro-democracy movement. It raises questions about state information online operations, legal prosecutions, media censorship and the use of taxpayers’ money, according to Prachatai.

The music video was filmed during the recent protests in Bangkok calling for royal reform. It features the moment when protesters marched to the Grand Palace to submit a petition to King Vajiralongkorn.

RAD has been persecuted by the Thai government in the past. In August 2020 member of the band, Dechathorn Bamrungmuang was detained performing at the student-led pro-democracy protests.

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