Buddhist office turns to Thai Cyber Police over AI-generated Facebook content

Photo courtesy of KhaoSod

The National Office of Buddhism (NOB) sought assistance from the Thai Cyber Police, following the discovery of inappropriate content related to Buddhism on Facebook. The content, generated by artificial intelligence (AI), depicts Buddhist monks engaging in non-religious activities, such as playing musical instruments and racing on motorbikes. These images, deemed damaging to the image of the monastic community, have raised concerns among the Buddhist community.

Suphat Mueangma, the head of the Secretariat of the Buddhist Association and spokesperson for the NOB, reported that a letter was drafted to the Cyber Police requesting an investigation into the source of this content. The NOB had discovered nine images of monks participating in non-religious activities, created using AI, on Facebook. Such content is considered harmful to the reputation of the monks and has caused discomfort among the Buddhist community.

Suphat added that the NOB has requested help to remove the inappropriate images and is currently investigating the origin of these AI-generated images. The aim is to coordinate with the Cyber Police for further action.

The spokesperson stated that the use of AI to create images that defame the monastic community is increasing, potentially leading to misunderstandings among those who see these images. Suphat further noted that it is highly inappropriate to use AI to create and circulate online images of monks behaving in a defamatory manner, reported KhaoSod.

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“If anyone comes across images that appear to depict monks behaving inappropriately, whether they are genuine or not, they can report it to the phone number 0-2441-7992.”

In related news, seven Bangladeshi nationals, masquerading as Buddhist monks to bypass immigration scrutiny, were apprehended in the southern province of Songkhla, Thailand. The arrest was a collaborative operation between Songkhla immigration officers and Hat Yai tourist police, following an anonymous tip-off. Read more about this story HERE.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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