A recent block on the video-sharing website YouTube put in place by the Thai authorities is still in place despite the removal of a video considered offensive to the king of Thailand.

The video in question was a child-like creation featuring a sequence of images of King Bhumibol with feet and other symbols superimposed on his face. The reverence in which the monarchy is held in Thailand made an adverse reaction a certainty, particularly after over 60,000 people viewed the clip before it was withdrawn.

Censoring free expression?

The incident isn't the first time the Thais have taken a sledgehammer to an internet nut. In March YouTube was also restricted by the government there in what was seen as a politically motivated move to censor free expression.

When initially asked by the Thai authorities this week to remove the clip at the centre of the current row, Google responded even-handedly, saying that: "...the site contained material which attacked U.S. President George W. Bush far more harshly than the Thai king had been mocked."

Anyone interested in examining just what the Thais felt their entire nation needed protecting from is encouraged to view a similarly puerile anti- Bhumibol clip here and decide for themselves. If, that is, you can be bothered watching more than about five seconds of the drivel and withstanding the educationally challenged YouTube commenters.

Update: Unsurprisingly, the above clip has also now been removed from YouTube.