Thailand encourages Facebook users to spy on each other to block 'inappropriate messages'

This is largely spread across Facebook, Line, and YouTube, reports Tech in Asia

 Photo: Tech in Asia

<b> Photo: Tech in Asia <b>

Michael Tegos | Tech in Asia
Internet service providers in Thailand are encouraging citizens to report “inappropriate comments” on emails and social media, particularly those posted on Facebook, Line, and YouTube.
The leaflets look like this:

The literature comes from Thailand’s National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), the country’s telecoms regulator. It calls for people to “collaborate to suppress inappropriate messages,” without really defining what these are. It includes instructions on how to report them using each platform’s tools and then contact the NBTC.

Tech in Asia spoke with a few internet users in Thailand. They found the leaflet strange, considering there’s already a Technology Crime Suppression Division within the Royal Thai Police that’s responsible for tracking down offensive online content.
While not explicitly mentioned, it’s likely this is related to Thailand’s strict “lèse majesté” laws. Specifically, article 112 of the Thai Criminal Code makes it illegal for anyone to express negative views about the country’s royal family. If you’re wondering how extensive this is, in August a woman was charged under article 112 for replying “yes” to a Facebook post that criticized the monarchy.
Thailand encourages users to spy on each other to block 'inappropriate messages'
According to Reuters, Thai ISPs started requesting their customers to report “content offensive to the royal institution” a few days after King Bhumibol Adulyadej died on October 13.
In late October, the Bangkok Post said that around “100 web addresses” on YouTube had been blocked for insulting the monarchy in what the government called a “joint blocking effort” with Google.

This is an excerpt from Tech in Asia. You can read the full article here

First Published: Nov 04 2016 | 7:46 PM IST

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