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In Praise of the King: 1.7M Social Media Comments In Thailand 104

Posted by timothy
from the shaft-of-gold-when-all-around-is-dark dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from Prachatai.com: "Thailand's Rangers Task Force 45, in response to Army policy, has put its troops to the task of promoting and protecting the monarchy in cyber space, claiming to have posted 1.69 million comments on webboards and social media during a 4-month period of last year ... According to the video clip, the Army Chief has approved the establishment of an army internet network to promote and protect the monarchy by monitoring websites and webboards which have content alluding to the monarchy and countering them by posting comments which worship the institution. ...The unit's military operations personnel provide the troops with information, or what to post, and set them targets for the number of posts they must complete."
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In Praise of the King: 1.7M Social Media Comments In Thailand

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  • by Laxori666 (748529) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @05:11PM (#43947977) Homepage
    His Majesty King Bhumibol is the most respected one! The monarchy brings great glory to Thailand! Long live the King!
  • in the US (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Kohath (38547)

    we have Media Matters Action Network, NBC, NPR, the Washington Post, the AP, and the New York Times for this.

    • Re:in the US (Score:4, Insightful)

      by WGFCrafty (1062506) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @06:03PM (#43948237)

      we have Media Matters Action Network, NBC, NPR, the Washington Post, the AP, and the New York Times for this.

      It's like people have forgotten what a real state run press is like. This is not insightful just one of the obligatory cynical remarks which abound here. Besides, several of the places you posted have extensive critical commentaries about recent revelations.

  • by auric_dude (610172) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @05:13PM (#43947995)
    I, for one, welcome our new 50 Cent Party https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/50_Cent_Party [wikipedia.org] Overlords (Thailand Branch).
  • Thailand's Rangers Task Force 45, in response to Army policy, has put its troops to the task of promoting and protecting the monarchy in cyber space, ...

    Retweeting Private Ryan.

    And yet that made sense to someone in their military.

    • Thailand's Rangers Task Force 45, in response to Army policy, has put its troops to the task of promoting and protecting the monarchy in cyber space, ...

      Retweeting Private Ryan.

      And yet that made sense to someone in their military.

      If I were in their military, I'd seriously consider trying to get a heroic assignment with the Rangers Task Force 45, Fightin' Keyboards Company, if it meant getting to spend my tour trolling the internet rather than any of the numerous dirty, dangerous, and/or tedious assignments that soldiers tend to get stuck with. Maybe even get a mild carpal tunnel injury from defending the king too hard, and have to accept an honorable discharge, wounded serving king and country!

      I'd roll my eyes the whole time, of cou

      • by khasim (1285)

        I don't know but I've been told
        4th platoon got Rick Rolled
        Am I right or wrong? (you're right!)
        Are we going strong? (we're strong!)

  • I guess they can do what he wants.

    It's one thing to require the troops to sing the king's praises. It's another to criminalize people who might justly criticize the king. From what I (might mis)remember, he's a popular king. But that doesn't mean every Thai likes him.

    Stuff like this makes me wary of him though.

    • by aaarrrgggh (9205)

      It is more in the military's interests to promote the king than the king himself. The military wants to marginalized democratic (read money) influence in national politics. The king isn't that long for this earth...

      • by Trepidity (597)

        The king also doesn't really have any political power, so whether lèse-majesté laws will be enforced or not isn't even his decision. He reportedly is not too keen on them, and even made a speech in 2005 indirectly criticizing them. The speech argued that saying the king couldn't be criticized would imply the king is infallible and not a human, which isn't the case.

        But the king is just a symbol used as convenient by the people who actually do have power, so the lèse-majesté laws aren't re

      • by mjwx (966435)

        It is more in the military's interests to promote the king than the king himself. The military wants to marginalized democratic (read money) influence in national politics. The king isn't that long for this earth...

        The Thai military already has a huge role in the nations politics.

        Thailand is a "democracy" that has had one prime minister complete their entire term in 50 years. Many were deposed via military intervention.

        • by aaarrrgggh (9205)

          But their only moral standing is their support of the monarchy. Without that, all they have is guns. It works either way, but the latter gives cause for their power to be challenged.

          • by mjwx (966435)

            But their only moral standing is their support of the monarchy. Without that, all they have is guns. It works either way, but the latter gives cause for their power to be challenged.

            You haven't been to Thailand have you?

            The Thai military have, in the past openly deposed a government supported by the King. The King had his statements retroactively changed.

            They dont need legitimacy, they have it already. The majority of the country doesn't care who rules as long as they can go about their daily lives. This is because the majority of the country is very poor. "Moral Standing" falls under "First World Problems". No-one is really going to fight them for 500 Baht (which is the going ra

  • The King of Thailand has long had an officially-backed, and in early years American-assisted [economist.com], cult of personality. It's illegal to criticise the king in Thailand, and hundreds of people are convicted of insulting the King [wikipedia.org] every year, and in many cases thrown in jail for extended periods of time.
    • in the US (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Kohath (38547)

      we just get audited by the IRS.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by NettiWelho (1147351)

        we just get audited by the IRS.

        And get your email and phonecalls monitored by the rest of the alphabet soup agencies.
        Or get legally droned if your government states that they consider you to be engaged in combat with them.
        Or get legally held indefintaly without a trial or a charge if you fit the criteria they themselves come up with.
        Also you jail most people in the world; in historical perspective only Nazi-Germany and USSR had more prisoners in proportion to population. That should be telling.

        • Also you jail most people in the world; in historical perspective only Nazi-Germany and USSR had more prisoners in proportion to population. That should be telling.

          This is the US of A! We won't stop til we're #1!

    • Hey, by the standards of US anti-communist puppets, the guy is practically a saint... Moderate levels of political repression, limited extrajudicial killings, no genocides!

    • by artor3 (1344997) on Saturday June 08, 2013 @07:28PM (#43948599)

      The Wikipedia article you link says the laws against insulting the king date back to 1908, long before American involvement. It goes on to say that they didn't start really enforcing the law heavily until 2006, long after any cold war meddling.

      But you brilliantly wove the a couple truths together to create a magnificent lie: that the US is responsible for Thailand's laws against criticizing the monarch. Well done. I'd wager, by your current +5 Informative score, that quite a few people fell for it. It really goes to show that any lie can be believed, if only you throw in a couple unrelated hyperlinks to make it look official.

      And it certainly helps if it's anti-American, since people just love to have a big scary villain to rage against.

      • by nickserv (1974794)

        As a US citizen residing in Thailand for the last 7-years I'd like to say, very well said and thank you!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I'd hate to see the money funding that going to, for instance, HIV/AIDS awareness so that maybe some day Thailand won't have the highest HIV infection rate in Asia. Good job, King Ramalamading-dong!

  • once you have their souls, their hearts and minds will follow.
  • Judging by his embarrassing fuckface, Bhumibol Adulyadej Ramadhibodi Chakrinarubodin Sayamindaradhraj Boromanatbophit loves gerbilling and practices it avidly.
    Too bad he won't end like all bad monarchs deserve.
  • 70% of Obama's twitter followers are fake and paid for.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/23/fashion/twitter-followers-for-sale.html?_r=0 [nytimes.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Meh. Hire some Russian dudes to write a KingBot and install it on compromised workstations. They'll praise the crap out of your ruler. 1.7 million? Chicken feed.

  • Obligatory (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Stormwatch (703920) <rodrigogirao@@@hotmail...com> on Saturday June 08, 2013 @06:14PM (#43948303) Homepage

    I fart in king Bhumibol's general direction. His mother was a binturong and his father smelt of durians.

    • by mapkinase (958129)

      And here is my obligatory answer to this type of comment.

      In Soviet times, you can tell what period by the context:

      Reagan meets Brezhnev and calls him to freedom of speech:

      - In my country, people can go in front of Kremlin and shout "Reagan is an idiot".

      Brezhnev replies,

      - Well, this is allowed in my country too: you can go in front of Kremlin and shout "Reagan is an idiot".

      The point here is that you are shouting "The King is an idiot" in front of your computer anonymously.

  • The Thais are just copying the last Obama campaign.

  • maybe they can come help us in Afghanistan.

  • ..and it's been going on for years. I posted about the false-flag terrorist operation September 11th 2001 in a Norwegian forum. Some guy sent me a private message there asking for more details about what I knew about it. I gave him a specially crafted link to one of my webservers and it was interesting, but not very shocking, to see this "17 year student" visiting from IP 158.112.84.2 - which belongs to the Norwegian military. I suspect most countries has a disinformation / "cyperspace" unit. It's all jolly
  • Nothing like some good old-fashioned astroturfing!

  • Let's take a step back for a second and just accept that other countries have different cultures and in the case of Thailand, the monarchy is actually very respected by a large portion of the population because the king, unlike many other monarchs, is not only quite well educated but really did a lot for his country and his people. Not only has Thailand never been a Western colony, they only started to open more towards the West and Western culture at around the turn of the 20th century. To top that off, "d

    • So tell us genius, if the king is so popular and harmless, why does he need an entire branch of the military to look after his online reputation?

      Whoops.

      • by mjwx (966435)

        So tell us genius, if the king is so popular and harmless, why does he need an entire branch of the military to look after his online reputation?

        What makes you think the King ordered this?

        If you bothered to read the GP's post, "genius" you'd have figured out that the King's image is used more by the political powerbrokers like Thaksin Shinawatra than the King himself. They use the King's image to curry favour with the people (well, the King is highly respected, unlike the Shinawatra's).

        The King of Thailand has no real power, he couldn't order the military to do anything. At the very worst, this is just a bit of hero worship from an overzealous

    • by nickserv (1974794)

      The best post I've read in this thread, finally someone who understands Thailand. US expat, 7-year resident of Thailand.

  • But what's worse is that some anti-semites might compare this to what Israeli is doing [haaretz.com]. Clearly such a comparison would be unwarranted.
    • by manu0601 (2221348)
      You confused anti-semites and anti-zionists, didn't you?
      • No I was just mocking the tendency of anyone who criticizes Israel being called an antisemite. I was pointing out that a person who said exactly the same thing about the Israeli policy, as people are saying about the Thai policy, would be called antisemitic.

        The problem with saying "I'm an anti-Zionist, not an anti-Semite" is that it plays into the narrative that there are these bad guy anti-Semites out there, and every time someone criticizes Israel they have to prove that they are not one of them.

        • by manu0601 (2221348)
          OTOH, each time you leave someone with an opportunity to blend anti-semitism (which is a flavor of racism) with anti-zionism (which is a geopolitical and/or religious opinion), you help zionists that would like to fight the later by labeling it as the former.
  • Given the volume, I do not know whether I shall call this propaganda or spam. If it is propaganda, I suspect it is so blunt that it is rather ineffective.
  • by mha (1305) on Sunday June 09, 2013 @05:48AM (#43951291) Homepage

    MUCH better than what the US used its military for most of the time since WWII.

    • by nickserv (1974794)

      I was going to post a comment about how wasteful this is but, I guess you've got a point when compared to the waste in the US military and yes, they are not out and about in the world war mongering.

  • Thailand is imperfect; the United States is imperfect. As my father said many years ago, you pays your money and takes your choice. I decided twenty years ago that I would rather die in Thailand than live in America. I'm still here.

    Any of you are welcome to come and take a look.

"If truth is beauty, how come no one has their hair done in the library?" -- Lily Tomlin

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