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Censorship Government The Internet Your Rights Online

Thailand Cracks Down On Twitter, Facebook, Etc. 130

An anonymous reader writes "The ongoing poitical turmoil in Thailand has inspired the country's Ministry of Information, Computers, and Telecommunications to issue a stern warning that all users of the Internet in Thailand must 'use the internet in the right way or with appropriate purpose and avoid disseminating information that could create misunderstanding or instigate violent actions among the public', that 'all popular websites and social networks such as facebook, twitter, hi5 and my space [sic] will be under thorough watch,' and that 'Violators will be prosecuted by law with no compromise.' Thailand has draconian anti-lèse majesté laws which are routinely abused in order to settle political scores and silence dissent, and recently implemented a so-called 'Computer Crimes Act' which appears to be almost solely focused on thoughtcrimes and censorship, rather than dealing with, you know, actual crime. Several Web forums have recently been shut down, their operators charged because they failed to delete 'harmful posts' quickly enough to suit the Thai authorities."
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Thailand Cracks Down On Twitter, Facebook, Etc.

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  • I've been following this closely as I have a personal connection to Thailand and was last there a couple of months ago, and checking out all the stuff that's been posted online (mainly photos and videos since my Thai is rather poor).

    There's an obvious reason why they're cracking down - there really is rampant misinformation being spread. The stuff that gets published almost always includes commentary by whoever posted it which blames one side or the other based on what they say is concrete evidence that their photos or video provide... yet if you look at the stuff, it's obvious it's just wild speculation at best and purposeful stretching of the truth (misinformation) at worst. It's really, really bad. Foreigners are especially bad because they mostly don't fully understand the situation and accept "evidence" at face value.

    The main thing that's being contended right now is whether or not the Thai army troops fired live rounds (rather than rubber ones) into the red-shirt protesters (who are unarmed), thus being the cause of the deaths. Most of the videos claim to prove that they are, but there is absolutely no evidence in *any* of the videos that this is the case.

    The interesting thing is that there *is* evidence of a third group (labeled as terrorists by the government) who are the ones inciting violence... sniping people from both sides from up on buildings, and so on. There's even a video that shows someone's head getting shot off a few feet away - literally, the brain is lying on the sidewalk and the top half of the head is missing. It's clear they weren't shot by the army, because their assault rifles wouldn't have done that.

    Crazy stuff! It will be really interesting to see what follows. Based on how the Thai government operates, this "ban" shouldn't actually stop the flow of information coming out of Thailand, especially since a lot of it is coming from foreigners.

  • Re:Matter of time (Score:3, Interesting)

    by corbettw ( 214229 ) <corbettw&yahoo,com> on Thursday April 15, 2010 @07:28AM (#31855790) Journal

    I was just being my usual smartass self. I have no idea why some idiot modded me Insightful when I was going for Funny.

    The truth is, Texans are some of the warmest, most friendly people you'll meet, at least superficially. It generally takes a while to earn their trust, but once you have it it's hard to lose it (though if you do you probably won't ever earn it back).

Information is the inverse of entropy.