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Junta seeks to block social-media access to ‘inappropriate content’

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Junta seeks to block social-media access to ‘inappropriate content’ | Thaiger

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– Thailand news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Junta seeks to block social-media access to ‘inappropriate content’
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: The junta’s online content monitoring panel will seek cooperation from social-network operators to block accessibility in Thailand to Facebook pages, Line groups and YouTube videos that have inappropriate content, especially those deemed as violating lese majeste restrictions and national security.

The resolution came after a meeting yesterday of the committee to monitor and regulate Internet and social-network use set up by the Information and Communications Technology Ministry on Tuesday under a National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) command.

Committee member Pol Maj General Pisit Pao-in said that in the next two days the ICT Ministry would send representatives to meet executives of Facebook and Google in Singapore and Line in Japan to seek cooperation in blocking access for Thai people to inappropriate content over these platforms. The ministry will also ask them not to allow the opening of pages with “inappropriate” content.

The move is aimed at curbing content that violates the NCPO’s 12th, 17th, and 18th announcements, which ordered online operators to suspend messages deemed as insulting the monarcy, provocative, inciting violence or critical of the military leaders, causing misunderstanding among the public or disturbing peace and order.

According to the announcements, operators of social media and Internet service providers (ISPs) have been urged to block the spreading of false information and messages that incite unrest or opposition to what the junta calls peacekeeping efforts.

“Currently, more than 200 online contents, including Facebook pages and website pages, have been closed because they violated the NCPO’s orders. We blocked them under the authority given to us by the NCPO’s 26th order,” Pisit said. He added that the committee monitored only public areas over the social network and kept a close watch on specific suspect accounts. They insisted that they were not against people’s online privacy.

There are three working panels under the committee to enforce three tasks: for directing, for information verification and analysis, and for investigation and suppression.

The inability to access Facebook on Wednesday afternoon had nothing to do with the ICT Ministry’s orders, Pasit said. Thais were unable access Facebook because of technical problems somewhere on the connection route between the international Internet gateway and the social network’s server, he said.

“It was the misunderstanding of ISPs that they thought Facebook was down because of an order, hence they posted a banner saying, ‘This Web page cannot be accessed because of the NCPO’s command.’ We did not block Facebook,” Pisit insisted.

Facebook users were furious when they were briefly unable to access the social medium on Wednesday. The NCPO responded quickly by saying it had no policy to block social media and ordered the ICT Ministry to fix the problem at the gateway.

Yanapol Yungyuen, a member of the committee, said the panel worked under the NCPO’s command to keep peace in the country without intention to harm people’s online life and privacy. He also urged people not to put unverified content online and or on social networks, especially Line’s group messages and Facebook.

The committee held its first meeting on Tuesday after being set up by the coup commanders. Pisit said the committee had invited ISPs as well as Facebook and Line representatives to seek their cooperation. However, Line and Facebook did not send representatives to the meeting.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Bangkok officials issue advice for Covid contacts required to self-isolate

Maya Taylor

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Bangkok officials issue advice for Covid contacts required to self-isolate | Thaiger
PHOTO: Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

The governor of Bangkok says anyone who has had contact with a Covid-19 patient must self-isolate for 10 days, the incubation period for the virus. Nation Thailand reports that Governor Aswin Kwanmuang has issued advice for those self-isolating, saying they must adhere to the following 4 steps.

1. Sleep in a separate room to other residents
2. Do not eat with other people living in the house
3. Separate trash, as garbage used by a potentially infected person can be a source of transmission
4. Use a separate bathroom where possible. If not possible, the potentially infected person should be last to use the bathroom, washing sinks and the toilet seat after each use

The governor says people who live alone in a house or condo can use a food delivery service, but must wear a mask while in the presence of food delivery workers, as well as washing their hands regularly. Condominium residents must advise the building manager that they are self-isolating and avoid using common areas such as elevators.

Masks should be worn at all times indoors and all residents should observe social distancing while in common areas. Building managers are responsible for instructing residents to observe disease prevention measures and should also undertake regular disinfection of common areas and manage potentially infectious waste appropriately.

Nation Thailand lists the following numbers for those who need further medical advice.

Covid-19 situation at the Bangkok Health Office Hotline (02) 203 2393 or (02) 203 2396 or (02) 203 2883 and (02) 245 4964 (24 Hours)

BKK COVID-19 website hotline (02) 203 2393 and (02) 203 2396 (service hours 8am-10pm)

People with Covid-19 symptoms should contact the Erawan Centre, Bangkok 1646. People at risk of exposure to infectious cases can call the Emergency Operation Centre at 097 046 7549 and the Department of Disease Control at 1422.

Infected patients can get more advice on self-isolation at the Medical Department Hotline 1668, the National Institute of Emergency Medicine 1669 or the NHSO 1330 hotline, 24 hours a day.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid UPDATE: New cases rise to 1,543

Maya Taylor

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Covid UPDATE: New cases rise to 1,543 | Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook/กรมควบคุมโรค กระทรวงสาธารณสุข

Thailand’s Covid-19 infections are still on the rise, with the Kingdom reporting 1,543 new infections in the last 24 hours. Only 3 of those are imported with 1,540 being cases of community transmission. Thailand has now recorded 37,453 infections. 8,973 patients are receiving hospital treatment, 41 of whom have pneumonia.

More information to follow.

Covid UPDATE: New cases rise to 1,543 | News by Thaiger

 

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Pattaya

Officials confirm Koh Larn will remain open to domestic visitors for now

Maya Taylor

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Officials confirm Koh Larn will remain open to domestic visitors for now | Thaiger
PHOTO: Richard Barton / Flickr

Officials in Pattaya and Koh Larn say there are currently no plans to close the island to visitors despite a man who worked briefly at a local restaurant testing positive for Covid-19. It’s understood the worker was employed from April 3 to April 6, before quitting. During his short employment stint, he visited a number of nightlife venues in Pattaya during the course of one evening, before returning to the island. The name of the restaurant where he worked has not been released.

The man was later contacted by contact-tracers and subsequently tested positive for the virus. The Pattaya News reports that the restaurant on Koh Larn was closed for 3 days, with officials testing several people the man had come into contact with. It’s understood all have tested negative but are self-isolating for 14 days.

No other infections have been recorded on the island, with officials confirming it can remain open to domestic tourists, with strict disease prevention measures in place, including mandatory use of the contact-tracing MorChana app. Officials have also urged people to comply with mask-wearing regulations, saying a small minority – mostly foreigners – are failing to do so.

There is currently no planned lockdown for the island, with high-risk venues such as bars and clubs already temporarily closed. Restaurants and hotels remain open to domestic tourists and outdoor activities such as boat tours and diving can still go ahead until such time as the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration deems otherwise. The province of Chon Buri currently does not have any restrictions in place for those entering or leaving.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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