Online pranksters warned they could face time in jail ahead of April Fool’s Day

The Royal Thai Police issued a warning to online pranksters ahead of April Fool’s Day that their tomfoolery could land them in jail and a heavy fine.

The Technology Crime Suppression Division (TCSD) urged the nation’s natural jokers to be careful that their shenanigans on April Fool’s Day, also known as “Wan Dek Foo” in Thailand, do not break the Computer Crimes Act.

Although not as widely celebrated as in Western countries, some people in Thailand do play pranks on this day.

One of the most famous pranks in Thailand is the “fake lottery ticket” prank. This involves giving someone a fake lottery ticket that appears to be a winning ticket. When the victim tries to claim the prize, they are informed that they have been fooled.

In recent years, some businesses in Thailand have also joined in the fun on April Fool’s Day fun by releasing fake products or services. In 2019, a Thai airline announced that they were introducing “standing seats” on their planes, which turned out to be a joke.

The TCSD first issued a warning in 2020 about the potential harm of fake news related to the Covid-19 pandemic. Now, as the country approaches the upcoming General Election on May 14, the TCSD is worried that online pranksters could mislead the public or make jokes about the election.

Under Thailand’s Computer Crimes Act, disseminating false information that causes panic, damages security, spreads misinformation, or defames an individual or business can result in a fine of up to 100,000 baht or a maximum of five years in jail. Therefore, the TCSD is urging people to refrain from making April Fool’s jokes online, Pattaya News reported.

The TCSD has also stated that April Fool’s Day is not part of Thai culture or etiquette. Thailand has strict laws regarding computer crimes, libel, defamation, and slander, which do not have exceptions for satire or parody like many Western countries. As a result, such content is rare in Thai media and major publications.

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Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.