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Twitter suspends Thai royalist linked account which spread pro-government propaganda

Caitlin Ashworth

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Twitter suspends Thai royalist linked account which spread pro-government propaganda | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Twitter: Screenshot
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A Thai royalist-linked account was suspended on Twitter following a review by Reuters reporters that found the account spread posts in favour of His Majesty the King and the monarchy in what appeared to be a tactic to sway the public opinion.

While ongoing protests are calling on monarchy reform with statements considered unprecedented and taboo in Thai society, Reuters says they found tens of thousands of tweets from accounts amplifying the pro-government agenda, which an expert claims is a move to counter the pro-democracy movement.

While not directly linked, internal army training documents leaked to reporters show the Royal Thai Army used Twitter to spread pro-government propaganda and discredit the now-disbanded Future Forward Party. Hundreds of the Twitter accounts linked to the Army were suspended in October.

The account @jitarsa_school, created in September with 48,000 followers, was suspended after Reuters reporters reached out to Twitter for comment about the pro-monarchy accounts. A representative from Twitter told Reuters that the account violated the rules and that the suspension was not due to the reporters’ review.

“The account in question was suspended for violating our rules on spam and platform manipulation.”

Twitter suspends Thai royalist linked account which spread pro-government propaganda | News by The Thaiger

Reuters found that of the 48,000 accounts following @jitarsa_school, 80% of them were created since the start of September. Reuters says thousands of the “bot-like” accounts only promoted royalist hashtags. Some hashtags shared by @jitarsa_school translate to #StopViolatingTheMonarchy, #ProtectTheMonarchy, #WeLoveTheMotherOfTheLand, #WeLoveTheMonarchy and #MinionsLoveTheMonarchy.

While the account does not appear to be associated with the Royal Thai Army, the activity is similar. In October, Twitter suspended 926 accounts linked to the Royal Thai Army which were “amplifying pro-government propaganda.” At the time, the army said they were not associated with the accounts.

Recently, a 28-page document showing the army’s plan to target opponents and spread pro-monarchy messages was leaked. The army claims the plan was used as a public relations training exercise.

While Twitter only suspended 926 accounts, the documents says that 17,562 Twitter accounts were run by 9,743 army officers. The army officers were split into a “White Team” and a “Grey/Black Team.” According to the document, the accounts were aimed to appear like authentic accounts and officers were instructed to tweet with coordinated hashtags and retweet each other’s posts.

SOURCE: Reuters

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18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Denis

    Monday, November 30, 2020 at 10:54 am

    What a surprise ! 😉
    Twitter has long been known for its overt political bias

    • Avatar

      Ynwaps

      Monday, November 30, 2020 at 11:30 am

      Well if your account is supporting or supported by a big bot network, you should get suspended, don’t you think?

  2. Avatar

    Maag

    Monday, November 30, 2020 at 12:45 pm

    God bless the King….every body have to love the King !

  3. Avatar

    Issan John

    Monday, November 30, 2020 at 1:01 pm

    They’ve done pretty well with Covid, though, TBF …

    As you say, though, rather clumsy.

    • Avatar

      Joe

      Monday, November 30, 2020 at 2:10 pm

      Issan John as always the government mouth piece, they’ve done pretty well with disappearing those 80 right?

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Monday, November 30, 2020 at 2:53 pm

        As I said “They’ve done pretty well with Covid, though, TBF …”.

        … and FWIW I’m just as appalled by the “disappearance” of Chinese and Vietnamese in Thailand (as well as Thais) as I am by that of Thais in Laos or Cambodia, or anyone else anywhere else, whether it’s dressed up as “rendition” or anything else – it just doesn’t happen to have any connection with this article, though.

        As for the idea that I’m “always the government moputhpiece” that’s about as stupid as it gets – I prefer to give credit where it’s due and to base my criticism on fact, rather than an absurd broad brush.

  4. Avatar

    Ethan Hunt

    Monday, November 30, 2020 at 1:15 pm

    Whoaaaa Dude!
    That is a very racist statement essentially referring to Thai people as a whole as stupid and ignorant.

    Pray tell wise one, by any chance are you currently residing in Thailand?

  5. Avatar

    Math

    Monday, November 30, 2020 at 1:51 pm

    Twitter, Facebook, Google and the western media are directly involved in this new colorful revolution, they act against the king and the Thai government in the same way as they act against Trump, because it is the same groups at the orders of the mundialists who want to take control of the country.

    Thailand had thought of creating its own social network, like China and Russia to protect themselves, but they didn’t do it.

    Now it’s too late, and the royalists or military behind its actions can do nothing against those who directly control these social media and their algorithms and manipulate young Thai people.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Monday, November 30, 2020 at 3:10 pm

      … aah .. so it’s the “mundialists” who “manipulate young Thai people” who are behind the protests?

      … presumably as they were here in 2014, 2012, 2008, etc, etc?

      … and presumably the Magna Carta in 1215 and the Glorious Revolution in 1688, and more recently the American Revolution and colonial independence …?

      … those damned mundialists and their algorithms …

      • Avatar

        Math

        Monday, November 30, 2020 at 4:40 pm

        It makes you smile, many people supported the democratic demonstrations in Syria and Libya, without thinking about what would happen to civilians afterwards.

        It always looks nice, people imagine that it will be better afterwards, that there will be democracy.

        I was one of the people who warned, knowing who was behind the demonstrations, and what happened next was worse than I imagined.

        I worry about Thailand knowing that the worst is also to be feared.

        It is difficult to clearly explain the evidence here, many of my comments have been censored.

        It’s easy to know when the globalists are going to prey on a prey, when all the mainstream media unite with social networks and attack a country or a personality.

        They use many similar techniques, such as magnifying a person’s wealth (Castro, Saddam Hussein) and you know who here, while the personalities who are really the richest in the world never appear in Forbes.

        I started working for NGOs in 1994, and I was able to witness live the lies of the Western media on many wars.

        I also worked in a documentation center on developing countries where I could read many books on the recent history of countries and the involvement of these mundialists to overthrow countries that refused to submit.

      • Avatar

        Math

        Monday, November 30, 2020 at 4:55 pm

        And I am for more democracy and less injustice in Thailand.

        But I know that they will not bring democracy and will aggravate injustice if by misfortune, thanks to the manipulated students, they manage to take control of the country.

    • Avatar

      Denis

      Monday, November 30, 2020 at 7:19 pm

      Thank you…
      This is exactly what happens in Thailand : A big manipulation by the mundialists.
      All these fake NGO and Social Networks are just tools to manipulate young thaï people.

  6. The Thaiger

    The Thaiger

    Monday, November 30, 2020 at 2:44 pm

    Warning. Racist comments. Last chance.

  7. Avatar

    Ian

    Monday, November 30, 2020 at 4:42 pm

    To late John these people are already brainwashed they are like sheep the world has awoken to the cruel Thai dictatorship

  8. Avatar

    Issan John

    Monday, November 30, 2020 at 4:55 pm

    Wow.

    You’ve read books? I’m impressed ….

    • Avatar

      Math

      Monday, November 30, 2020 at 5:06 pm

      You should try, rather than blindly believing everything the mainstream media says.

  9. Avatar

    Ian

    Monday, November 30, 2020 at 6:17 pm

    Math whatever happens it’s gotta be better than what is at present surely

    • Avatar

      Math

      Tuesday, December 1, 2020 at 10:08 am

      They never bring improvements, they will create more chaos and divisions in Thai society.

      And their plans for the control of ASEAN with Thailand as a pivot is not secret.

      They want to turn the ASEAN countries against China and no matter what economic problems this will cause the country, they will do it.

      They have not hesitated to use Rohingyas they converted to Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia and who have waged war in countries like Syria and Libya in well-known Islamist groups, as revealed by the Washington Post, to create tensions when Myanmar signed contracts with China for the new Silk Roads.

      And since the EU countries came under their control, there is more war, terrorism and poverty.

      And the split with Russia has done a lot of harm to business.

      As French General Pinatel said, they have an interest in creating these tensions because if the EU and Russia were allies, they would threaten their supremacy.

      Just as they seek to weaken China as much as the ASEAN countries for the same reasons.

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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.

Thailand

Thailand’s PM asks people to avoid political gatherings over concerns for their health

The Thaiger

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Thailand’s PM asks people to avoid political gatherings over concerns for their health | The Thaiger

Thailand’s PM is asking people to avoid political gatherings over concerns for their health due to the recent cooler weather. As the country is still not out of the woods with the recent Covid-19 breakout, the cold weather, in the northern half of the country, is adding to PM Prayut Chan-o-cha’s health concerns for Thai people.

Government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri says the situation still warrants the government’s role to exercise its power under the emergency decree and Communicable Disease Act to help curb the spread of Covid-19.

He says all gatherings should be avoided, but is emphasising political ones and is thanking the “majority who have cooperated.” Now, he says the government is set to introduce more measures to help those affected by the new round of Covid and are preparing new economic stimulus programs.

Anucha says another high pressure system from China will cover northern Thailand starting from today and lasting through January 19. The system would see temperatures drop by 2 to 3 degrees Celsius in the northern and central areas of Thailand with the northeastern area seeing a drop of 4 to 6 degrees. PM Prayut has also asked people to be careful when setting up bonfires to keep warm during the cold spell.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Protests

Student arrested in dormitory at night, charged with lèse majesté offences

Maya Taylor

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Student arrested in dormitory at night, charged with lèse majesté offences | The Thaiger
PHOTO: TLHR Twitter / Lawyer Center for Human Rights

A student at Thammasat University’s Rangsit Campus has been arrested and charged with violating Thailand’s strict lèse majesté law. Ironically, it was his calls for the law to be abolished that led to Sirichai Natueng, aka, “New”, being charged. The group, Thai Lawyers for Human Rights, has confirmed the student’s arrest on its Twitter page.

After being taken into custody, the pro-democracy activist was driven to Khlong Luang police station, in the central province of Pathum Thani, just outside Bangkok. Other anti-government activists, including Parit Chiwarak, aka, “Penguin”, and Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul (“Rung”) followed, accompanied by representatives from TLHR.

Since the arrest, the hashtags #saveนิวมธ (Save New) and #ยกเลิกม112 (Cancel Section 112) have been trending on Twitter. Section 112 of Thailand’s Criminal Code is the law governing lèse majesté, which carries a penalty of up to 15 years’ imprisonment.

Sirichai, a member of the pro-democracy group United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration, has been charged with 2 lèse majesté offences. He is accused of defacing an image of the Monarchy, as well as the Rangsit campus sign, with graffiti calling for the abolition of the lèse majesté law.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Protests

Leaders of German Embassy rally meet with police, prosecutors

Maya Taylor

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Leaders of German Embassy rally meet with police, prosecutors | The Thaiger
PHOTO: iLaw

13 political activists who led thousands of protesters to the German Embassy in Bangkok last October have met with police and prosecutors in the capital. They face charges of violating section 112 of the Criminal Code for the October 26 rally at the embassy. The aim of the gathering was to submit a petition calling on the German government to ascertain if His Majesty the King was conducting state business from Germany. Section 112 of the Criminal Code is also known as the lèse majesté law, which prohibits criticism or defamation of the Monarchy. Violators could face up to 15 years in prison.

During yesterday’s meeting at Thung Maha Mek police station, officers were on duty in front of the station, to bolster security, while others in plain clothes photographed those who’d turned up in a show of solidarity with the 13 activists. The rally at the German Embassy was organised by the pro-democracy group, Khana Ratsadorn. The group’s leaders face multiple other charges in addition to lèse majesté.

One protest leaders, named as Atthapol Buaphat, aka, “”Khru Yai”, says the group is waiting to see if prosecutors press ahead with charges. He says they have provided additional handwritten evidence to police and asked officers to question more witnesses. Another leader, Patsaravalee Tanakitvibulpon, says she just received a summons issued 2 months after an October 14 rally. She adds that the resurgence in Covid-19 means pro-democracy activists are pausing their political action but vows that it will resume again at some point.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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