Hashtag urges netizens to boycott media company’s sponsors


There’s a new hashtag trending on Twitter today: #แบนสปอนเซอร์เนชั่น (ban Nation’s sponsors), as netizens vow to boycott all of the local digital news outlet Nation Thailand’s sponsors for alleged “frequent errors and pro-government editorials”. The social trend was partly brought about by the revelation that a Nation Thailand and Nation TV reporter allegedly lied to protesters last Sunday, claiming to be from another news agency in order to curry favour with demonstrators to get interviews and quotes. There was a major rally, attracting up to 10,000 people, at Bangkok’s Democracy Monument on Sunday afternoon.

The reported incident has sparked anger among the Thai public, both on and offline, for the media company’s perceived “unprofessionalism”. Student protesters also claim the newspaper promotes pro-military and pro-government headlines, prompting the now popular hashtag and movement.

There’s also another hashtag trending today condemning Thai media, generally, who are not reporting the protests. #CondemnMedia (#ประณามสื่อ) is being used by Thais who say they are frustrated with media in Thailand, both Thai and English language, for their silence on reporting the various protests around the country, or avoiding some of the sensitive issues raised at the demonstrations.

Nation Thailand (formerly The Nation) recently moved to an online-only model. The group also has a digital television channel and Thai sister papers including Krungthep Dhurakij. Conservative media have been under pressure in recent months as Thais are fast moving online, and away from traditional, printed sources, for their news.

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Now the hashtags are targeting the media outlet who have at least 25 sponsors, most being big brands and popular products, from the likes of Oral-B, Kanor, Wall’s, Sara, and Vaseline to Clear and Breeze, according to Thai Enquirer.

Thai journalists are currently challenged to report the content at the student rallies, some of it ‘uncomfortable’ topics for many Thais, including questions raised over the role of the Thai Head of State.

The Nation was founded in 1971, and published in Bangkok as a daily paper. It’s one of the longest-running and popular media outlets in the country. According to Thai Enquirer, it was recently taken over by Chai Bunnag, whose partner Watanya Wongopasi, is an MP for the pro-military/conservative Palang Pracharat Party.

Boycotts have become a popular way of challenging media companies when netizens feel aggrieved by the tone of various editorial decisions. Targeting the sponsors and advertisers hits directly at the source of most media revenue streams.

SOURCE: Thai Enquirer

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