Charged with Public Indecency and Cyber Crime
Public nudity is usually not a good decision. Public nudity in a foreign country is an even worse idea. Public nudity in a foreign country that you post to social media is almost a new standard in poor decision making.
Yet this is what occurred with the DeSilvas, a San Diego married couple who was celebrating their honeymoon in Thailand. They decided to take a picture exposing their butts and post it to their Instagram account “Traveling Butts.”
The location of the image immediately put them on a Thai government watchlist. The butt selfie was taken at Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn and Wat Pho, where the famous golden reclining Buddha is held. The reclining Buddha is the world’s largest solid gold Buddha and both temples are some of the holiest sites in the largely Buddhist country.
The couple was stopped when leaving the country and are being detained. While Thailand may have a reputation for wild nightlife, the country has conservative laws about behavior. For Buddhist temples, visitors are required to dress conservatively, including being sent away for clothing that exposes shoulders.
Online newspaper comments from Thai citizens were filled with outrage, including death threats. In addition to the public indecency charge, the couple can be charged for posting the image online under a controversial computer crimes law that has been mainly used to stifle online speech. The penalty could be a fine up to the maximum amount of $150 dollars and five years in prison. The other possibility is the couple being deported and banned from returning to Thailand.