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PM orders investigation after Facebook removes fraudulent accounts with alleged military ties

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Wikimedia

The Thai PM says he’s ordered an investigation into allegations that the military has been using fraudulent social media accounts to aggravate the ongoing unrest in southern Thailand. Facebook has announced the removal of 185 accounts and groups that it has accused of “information-influencing”, targeting audiences in the south of the country, where Muslim insurgents continue to fight for independence. The PM says he’s tasked the Defence Ministry with looking into the matter and explaining it to the public.

Meanwhile, Thanathip Sawangsaeng, from Internal Security Operations Command (the political arm of the Thai military) says ISOC knows nothing about Facebook removing any accounts. He says the accounts in question have nothing to do with ISOC, whose Facebook page is still up and running.

According to a Bangkok Post report, Thanathip says ISOC has no policy of information-influencing and is merely responsible for helping people affected by the insurgency in the south. He adds that the ISOC page is only used to share information and provide news updates, while listening to public opinion.

Since Facebook’s announcement, a number of people have petitioned the Administrative Court to issue an injunction against the military over the alleged information-influencing practices. Writer Sarinee Achavanuntakul, TV host Winyu Wongsurawat, and Yingcheep Atchanont from the Internet Law Reform Dialogue, together with lawyer Sanya Iadchongdi, are calling on the court to issue an injunction against army boss, Narongphan Jitkaewtae. The group says the military should be ordered to delete a database of people it has blacklisted and to apologise to the people of Thailand for indulging in information-influencing.

Yingcheep says the Facebook probe reveals that Thailand’s military has used information-influencing to attack government critics, including opposition politicians, activists, and academics, and journalists, including Yingcheep himself.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Avatar

    funny coz its true

    Friday, March 5, 2021 at 9:16 am

    poor baby, did someone piss on your chips?

  2. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Friday, March 5, 2021 at 10:45 am

    AS though he did not know about the matter.

  3. Avatar

    Issan John

    Friday, March 5, 2021 at 3:06 pm

    Appalling reporting by the BP, repeated here.

    While it’s possible that the Facebook accounts were being used to “aggravate” and “exacerbate” unrest in the South, it’s unlikely and that’s NOT what Facebook says they were doing or why they were removed.

    According to Facebook they were trying to “influence” the unrest in the South, to support the government line and discredit those opposing it – standard practice and routine for all military in the 21st century, as many countries openly admit.

    The “investigation” needs to be into how they were stupid enough to get caught – maybe all using the same IP address / ISP / proxy? ?

  4. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Friday, March 5, 2021 at 10:31 pm

    Yes it is tragic. They were “stupid enough to get caught.”
    They were caught were they not? Oh dear is that an excuse? Well maybe for you.
    They were targeting opposition to the government, and proved to be the military.
    And forget about standard practice for all military in the 21st century, as many countries openly admit”
    Liar. That is not the case. These Thai scum deserve to be banned.

  5. Avatar

    Mister Stretch

    Saturday, March 6, 2021 at 8:12 am

    Yeah, right, Prayut has no knowledge of the disinformation campaigns carried about by the military and other government agencies.

    “PM orders an investigation…” sounds good to the uneducated or stupid, while nothing will change.

    I especially enjoy the picture of Thai soldiers with the US Marines here, taken in 2016’s Cobra Gold.

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