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.
Photo: Tech in Asia
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.
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