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Facebook sets precedent by indefintely shutting down ads for an entire country

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Facebook has removed all ads from its platform in Thailand to mark the death of the country’s venerable king. The move marks the first time the social network has shut down ads for an entire country.

The world’s longest serving monarch, King Bhumibol Adulyadej passed away on Thursday following a 70-year reign. Thailand has begun its process of mourning for the king that will reportedly last for up to a year.

It is unclear at this stage whether Facebook will continue to block ads for the entirety of the designated period of mourning. “Out of respect for the passing of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej, we’re temporarily not showing ads in Thailand,” wrote the company in a brief post on its ads help page.

Facebook will continue to deliver ads as normal in other countries. It added that advertisers in Thailand can still run ads externally in other regions.

The royal palace is reportedly set to fly the national flag at half staff for 30 days, starting Friday. As part of the mourning process, civil servants have been ordered to wear black attire for a year, reports CNN.

Facebook is not the only tech firm to mark the passing of the king. Fellow web giant Google has adopted a monochrome layout for its home page in Thailand, although it is reportedly still serving up ads to users.

Additionally, media companies are paying their respects to the king with alterations to televised programming, and custom layouts for digital news outlets. The country’s leading English-language broadsheet newspaper The Bangkok Post has applied a black-and-white design to its website. Meanwhile, television channels will refrain from broadcasting “entertainment and overly emotional content” for 30 days at the behest of Thailand’s National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission.

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