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Thai officials crack down on social media posts

Caitlin Ashworth

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Thai officials crack down on social media posts | Thaiger
PHOTO: Unsplash: Kon Karampelas

Be careful about what’s posted on social media. Thai authorities are keeping tabs on popular websites. Statements that cause unrest or mislead the public might break the law. Thousands of pages were reported to Thailand’s Ministry of Digital Economy and Society in the past week. About half are in violation of the Computer Crimes Act.

Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and TikTok are common social media platforms the ministry is cracking down on. Some pages have orders to be taken down. 3,083 social media pages and websites were reported to the ministry from August 7 to 17. Minister of the Digital Economy Society Buddhipongse Punnakanta says 1,395 are in violation of the Computer Crimes Act.

While the minister did not give any information on the social media or website content, the warning comes at a time of ongoing pro-democracy protests.

Facebook has the most violators with 1,014 pages breaking the law. YouTube has 226 clips violating the act, Twitter has 121 messages and TikTok has 9 posts. The minister says 25 website sites also violate the act.

“Ministry officials have collected evidence and submitted it to the Thai Court.”

The Thai Court ordered 653 social media pages and websites to be removed, the minister says, but some pages remain active.

“However, there are many social media pages that have ignored the court order; hence those who don’t obey the court order to close, will face a fine of 200,000 baht or 5,000 baht per day until they improve their content in line with Section 27 of the Computer Crimes Act.”

SOURCE: Xinhua

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Wednesday, August 19, 2020 at 11:47 am

    They can stop criticism of the government, that is what this is about, in the streets with brutality, but how can they take down posts at 10 a.m. and stop similar post going on at 10:15 a.m.
    Especially when the website is over the other side of the Thai border.
    This is free speech and whether is might cause unrest, does not matter.
    It is the Thai government that is causing unrest . . .

  2. Avatar

    Rinky Stingpiece

    Thursday, August 20, 2020 at 3:37 am

    Are they cracking down on thethaiger? or are they avid readers of the comments sections?

  3. Avatar

    Thomas

    Thursday, August 20, 2020 at 4:23 pm

    At least they admit that Thailand is a dictatorship under the cover of democracy. Welcome to China. It is just sad that politicians do not learn from history. Oppression of the masses leads to revolution. And if you add a lack of work and therefore money to the mix than you stir a very explosive mix. A successful recipe for disaster since Roman times.

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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Immigration police arrest Frenchman on drug charges, 3 other foreigners for overstay

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Immigration police arrest Frenchman on drug charges, 3 other foreigners for overstay | Thaiger

Immigration police arrested a French man who was allegedly involved in a crime network who allegedly smuggled cannabis, and arrested 3 other foreigners on overstay charges. Police say the crime network sold cannabis to foreigners living in tourist cities in Thailand.

Officers say they suspect there are more people involved in the alleged smuggling operation on the Eastern seaboard, which includes Chon Buri and Rayong. Police are now launching an investigation.

Police were tipped off earlier this year about an alleged French gang selling cannabis to tourists. Apparently, the drug suspects would rent rooms to store the cannabis and frequently change locations. Foreigners had rented a room off a soi in Bangkok, but the manager noticed they were acting suspicious. No one appeared to actually be living in the room and people would stop by the room for less than an hour, the manager told police.

Police arrested a man who was stopping by the room. Officers say the 28 year old, identified as Samy, had a suitcase filled with dried cannabis and scales. He faces charges for possession and distribution of a Category 5 narcotic.

The police went to the man’s apartment in the Charoen Nakhon area and arrested 2 French nationals, ages 27 and 28, and a 29 year old woman from the UK for overstaying their visas. Police say they had thrown cannabis and smoking equipment out the window before officers entered the room.

SOURCE: Thai Visa

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Thailand hoping to be upgraded to a Tier 1 nation in anti-human trafficking efforts

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Thailand hoping to be upgraded to a Tier 1 nation in anti-human trafficking efforts | Thaiger
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Thailand is hoping its newest anti-human trafficking report will earn an upgrade from the US from Tier 2 to Tier 1. The report was submitted to the Washington’s Trafficking in Persons Report. Deputy government spokeswoman, Rachada Dhnadirek, said the government is ready to be upgraded after remaining on Tier 2 for 3 years in a row. Those nations who fall on the Tier 2, are deemed to not be fully complying with the minimum standards set out in the US’ Trafficking Victims Protection Act. Those on the Tier 2, however, are supposed to be making efforts to comply with the minimum standards.

Before 2018, Thailand was placed in Tier 3, which is for nations who don’t fully comply with the minimum standards and are not making efforts to do so. Then, Thailand was upgraded to Tier 2 after making progress compared to the previous year.

Rachada says Thailand submitted the 2020 TIP Report on February 2 and a report on progress in its anti-human trafficking operations from January to March of this year to the US embassy on April 3. The data includes the number of arrests and punishments for human-trafficking offences. Thailand also has created a new plan, making it the first in Asia to introduce such a plan. That plan is called the National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights.

Rachada says now Thailand is processing human trafficking cases more quickly by shortening the investigation time to 70 days as of last year. In 2015, the investigation time was 118 days. She says the country has also set up centres to help LGBT human-trafficking victims as well as helping migrant workers with work-related issues.

Thailand has also introduced the PROTECT-U app for smartphones in which human-trafficking victims can access protection and launch complaints in 7 different languages. The app was developed by the Social Development and Human Security Ministry.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Phuket man shot by off-duty police officer now paralysed

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Phuket man shot by off-duty police officer now paralysed | Thaiger
Phuket Police Station / Google Maps

A 25 year old Phuket man who was allegedly beaten and shot by an off-duty, drunken police officer, will never walk again as he remains paralysed in the hospital. The news, according to doctors at Vachira Phuket Hospital, comes after Aroon Thongplab, was shot from a close range, with the bullet hitting his spine.

The man was a noodle vendor and was collecting a bowl from a customer on Bangla Road when he was allegedly shot by Pornthep Channarong of the Phuket Provincial Police at around 6am. Doctors told his wife about his prognosis after he woke up from a coma and underwent surgery to increase his prospects of being able to sit up. His wife, who is only known by her surname as Kulthida, told The Phuket News that she received news that he would never walk again.

“He cannot feel or move the lower part from his waist. Doctors just gave him spine surgery last week, so that he can sit. However, the doctors cannot assure that the surgery will work. We have to wait to see if his recovery goes well along with physiotherapy.”

Pornthep was discharged from the Royal Thai Police less than a day after he allegedly shot the noodle vendor. Now, he is facing charges of attempted murder, firing a weapon in a public area, and carrying a firearm in a public area without a necessary reason. But those charges have come slowly, according to Kulthida.

“I have already asked Patong Police, and they told me that at this stage the report to file (with the public prosecutor) is about 90% complete. I am also waiting for a notice from the court. Today, officers from Region 8 Police came to the hospital to question Aroon, but he has not been able to speak… I asked them about the bail conditions, and they told me that the suspect is still in jail.”

The Phuket Provincial Court is allowing Pornthep to go out on bail, despite the Royal Thai Police asking the court to keep in locked up.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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