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Will Facebook be banned in Thailand

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Several years ago the government blocked YouTube due to a single video that was unflattering towards the King. I never saw the YouTube video but over the last few days I've seen some images posted on Facebook that have to be just as bad. I'm not even sure I can describe the pics but the typically involve using Photoshop to put the King's head on someone/something else's body or something offensive being digitally inserted into photos of the King.

And no, it's not the work of some lone wolf. Nearly 1300 people have "Liked" the most recent one I've seen and over 19,000 comments have been made.

How likely is it that the Thai government would ban Facebook these days? They eventually turned YouTube back on and perhaps learned their lesson that you can't just hide a major site like that but if there's one thing politicians are famous for it is repeating past mistakes.

What do you think? Any chance they block Facebook?

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In a way, I'd kind of like them to do it...

I'm sick of Red Shirts pretending that Lese Majeste and censorship are tools of the Democrats. Since taking power Peua Thai have tried to enact a Print Law which would put all censorship in the hands of the police chief (Thaksin's brother in law) and have prosecuted a Thai born American for LM and have refused bail for Da Torpedo.

Every time this stuff happens, the UDD Apologists um and ah and say stuff like, "It's different"... But it isn't.

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It would be interesting to see what would happen if they did. How much has Facebook been used as a mass 'propaganda' tool by any of the groups in Thailand? Any ban would also affect the young educated Thais who perhaps till now have not been part of any protest movement en masse. Do poor farmers really use social networking tools?

Edited by Stramash

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You know what's funny is that during the red shirt protest I ended up talking to one of the guys who runs the FB page for the red shirts and I asked him about the FB stuff. I told him it seemed odd that they would set up a page and post only in English if their audience was Thais. He admitted that they were doing it for the farangs.

I told him that it's not very effective because all of the propaganda they post is either being read by:

a) The converted (those who already back the red shirts)

B) Those on the fence and are trying to decide

c) Those who hate the red shirts

So, if the objective is to convince those on the fence, posting such blatantly obvious propaganda was insulting to people's intelligence. They weren't likely to win over a lot of undecideds because their posts were so ridiculous.

To my surprise, he agreed. He said he had been telling red shirt leaders that they need to make better arguments rather than just bashing Abhisit 100 times a day.

Unfortunately, it appears that his words have fallen on deaf ears at red shirt central.

It is interesting though. Because it shows how they view the receivers of their messages. They're not looking for people who think. They want to attract people who react emotionally. They're looking for people to respond to their inflammatory language.

And if they're trying to do this with the farangs you can only imagine what's happening on the Thai side. The ability to touch nerves using Thai culture or the double meanings of different words seems like it would be very effective in inciting Thais.

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I can't see them blocking it for one sad but true reason: They use facebook themselves.

Youtube is different as it wasn't as popular as Facebook is, there are other video sites out there, and itdoesn't hold the same amount of power. You don't need your friends on a video sharing site for it to be entertaining.

The YouTube ban went by with just a few ripples in the water. If facebook gets banned, all hell would break loose.

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You know what's funny is that during the red shirt protest I ended up talking to one of the guys who runs the FB page for the red shirts and I asked him about the FB stuff. I told him it seemed odd that they would set up a page and post only in English if their audience was Thais. He admitted that they were doing it for the farangs.

I told him that it's not very effective because all of the propaganda they post is either being read by:

a) The converted (those who already back the red shirts)

B) Those on the fence and are trying to decide

c) Those who hate the red shirts

So, if the objective is to convince those on the fence, posting such blatantly obvious propaganda was insulting to people's intelligence. They weren't likely to win over a lot of undecideds because their posts were so ridiculous.

To my surprise, he agreed. He said he had been telling red shirt leaders that they need to make better arguments rather than just bashing Abhisit 100 times a day.

Unfortunately, it appears that his words have fallen on deaf ears at red shirt central.

It is interesting though. Because it shows how they view the receivers of their messages. They're not looking for people who think. They want to attract people who react emotionally. They're looking for people to respond to their inflammatory language.

And if they're trying to do this with the farangs you can only imagine what's happening on the Thai side. The ability to touch nerves using Thai culture or the double meanings of different words seems like it would be very effective in inciting Thais.


Happening on the Thai side is called community radio, of which most are unlicensed. There are little 5 watt transmitting radio stations (commonly refered to as rice field radio stations) all through the North, and NorthEast of the country, and this is the sole connection with the outside world most rural folks have. It is pure brainwashing.

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I'm kind of wanting to see how low those red shits can get. For me they are cowards. I've watched a few clips of what Bill talking about and have read some comments. What they wrote was pathetic, they have my pity. And I will never ever look at those people the same ever again.

But as Rob said, if YouTube banned, things will get ugly. Let them talk!!!! and may Devils take their souls.

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and...this just in:

http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/315208

Officials in Thailand issued a warning to people who use Facebook. Users could end up facing prosecution, if they participate in certain activities on the social networking site, such as criticizing the monarchy.

Users of Facebook could end up getting prosecuted under lese-majeste laws, if they participate in certain activities on the site. If users “share” or “like” articles or images that the Thai monarchy consider unflattering, then they could face prosecution. According to SMH, lese-majeste offenses committed overseas could be targeted too. There are signals that that is the case, take the prosecution of a Thai-born US citizen who translated a banned biography of King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

The announcement about Facebook came just a day after a man was jailed for 20 years for sending text messages that were considered to be offensive to the monarchy, according to the Herald. Critics have said that the laws hamper free speech. Anudith Nakornthap is the country’s information minister and he said that officials in Thailand contacted Facebook and asked for their assistance in deleting stuff off the site that is considered offensive to the monarchy of Thailand.

According to Nakornthap, more than 10,000 URLs insult the monarchy, and people should not comment or “like” the posts. He said doing so would be indirect dissemination of the material in the eyes of the law. According to the Next Web, in the past Thailand has sought out cooperation from international tech firms over “offensive” content. YouTube was actually blocked back in 2006. Officials in Thailand found 20 videos on YouTube, and they deemed the videos offensive to the monarchy.

YouTube eventually became unblocked after Google decided to make sure the content could not be accessed by users in Thailand. The United Nations Special Rapporteur urged the Thai government to harmonize their laws in a way that would fit with human rights standards. This is a result of the rise in lese majeste cases.

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and...this just in:

http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/315208

Officials in Thailand issued a warning to people who use Facebook. Users could end up facing prosecution, if they participate in certain activities on the social networking site, such as criticizing the monarchy.

Users of Facebook could end up getting prosecuted under lese-majeste laws, if they participate in certain activities on the site. If users “share” or “like” articles or images that the Thai monarchy consider unflattering, then they could face prosecution. According to SMH, lese-majeste offenses committed overseas could be targeted too. There are signals that that is the case, take the prosecution of a Thai-born US citizen who translated a banned biography of King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

The announcement about Facebook came just a day after a man was jailed for 20 years for sending text messages that were considered to be offensive to the monarchy, according to the Herald. Critics have said that the laws hamper free speech. Anudith Nakornthap is the country’s information minister and he said that officials in Thailand contacted Facebook and asked for their assistance in deleting stuff off the site that is considered offensive to the monarchy of Thailand.

According to Nakornthap, more than 10,000 URLs insult the monarchy, and people should not comment or “like” the posts. He said doing so would be indirect dissemination of the material in the eyes of the law. According to the Next Web, in the past Thailand has sought out cooperation from international tech firms over “offensive” content. YouTube was actually blocked back in 2006. Officials in Thailand found 20 videos on YouTube, and they deemed the videos offensive to the monarchy.

YouTube eventually became unblocked after Google decided to make sure the content could not be accessed by users in Thailand. The United Nations Special Rapporteur urged the Thai government to harmonize their laws in a way that would fit with human rights standards. This is a result of the rise in lese majeste cases.

Scary how quickly this appeared after the thread was posted. I'm not implying the thread had anything to do with it but it's pretty obvious that things are heating up on Facebook. Enough, that some dumb farang like me is seeing anti-monarchy posts on people's walls and those threads are really being aimed at Thais.

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