Thailand’s army on Friday denied links with around a 1,000 Twitter accounts that the social media company blocked a day earlier saying the military was using them to spread propaganda and target the opposition.
Any social media used by the army aims only to provide information to the public in need of assistance during times of emergency, said Lt. Gen. Santipong Thammapiya, the spokesman for Royal Thai Army (RTA), a day after Twitter said it suspended 926 accounts in Thailand, which it “can reliably link” to the military.
“This is not an I.O. by the army. We did not do that as reported,” Santipong told reporters, using the abbreviation for “information operations.”
“All [of the] army’s social media are used for its public relations, and, especially for emergency cases that we can help people quickly.”
According to the Rand Corp., a California-based think-tank, “information operations” are also known as influence operations. They include the spread of propaganda to gain advantage over opponents.
On Thursday, Twitter wrote on its blog that the Thai accounts it blocked “were engaging in amplifying pro-RTA and pro-government content, as well as engaging in behavior targeting prominent political opposition figures.”
“The network was used primarily to promote pro-government and pro-military positions and accounts on Twitter and to attack political opposition, particularly the Future Forward Party and Move Forward Party (FFP and MFP, respectively),” said a report published Thursday by the Stanford Internet Observatory, a group Twitter shared its data with.
Twitter’s blockage of the 926 accounts came two weeks after Thailand brought police complaints against Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for not fully complying with court orders to take down content on their platforms deemed defamatory to Thailand’s royalty.
Thailand lodged those complaints amid a months-long pro-democracy campaign by activists and five days after tens of thousands of demonstrators converged in the heart of Bangkok to demand the government’s dissolution, a new constitution and reforms to the monarchy.
Puttipong Punnagun, the Thai minister for Digital Economy and Society, said Twitter’s announcement a day earlier took him by surprise because he believed the company should instead be working to comply with the court’s order.
“It is surprising that Twitter released this information during this time rather than following the Thai court’s orders and Thai law which calls for a ban or deletion of accounts that insult Thailand’s key institutions,” Puttipong said on his Facebook page Friday.
“We previously submitted court orders to it, but Twitter ignored them, did not delete 65 URLs. We are about to send them a new batch of orders, 253 orders. We call on Twitter to follow suit and show sincerity to exhibit Twitter’s transparency.”
Nontarat Phaicharoen contributed to this report.
Copyright ©2015-2020, BenarNews. Used with the permission of BenarNews.
How Covid-19 triggered a 125% surge in media consumption in Thailand
Globally speaking, the early months of the pandemic saw a dramatic increase in the amount of time people spent accessing information about current events.
The TikTok Strategy: Using AI Platforms to Take Over the World
Hugely popular with teenagers and millennials, TikTok – known as DouYin in China – is a social media application used for creating and sharing short videos. Lasting 15 seconds or less, the typical clip features fun music, a skit, lip-sync, dance or light-hearted humour.
Women’s Day : Twenty-seven women journalists held in appalling conditions
Tortured, humiliated and sexually harassed : Twenty-seven women journalists held in appalling conditions
As the world marks International Women’s Day, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) points out that 27 women journalists are currently detained around the world. Some are being held in inhuman conditions.(more…)
Marijuana could generate up to Bt8 billion for Thailand’s pharmaceutical industry
Last year, Thailand removed cannabis and hemp leaves from its list of banned narcotics (seeds and buds remain banned).
COVID-19 situation in Thailand as of 2 March 2021
The post Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation in Thailand as of 2 March 2021, 11.30 Hrs. appeared first on TAT...
Vietnam Loship secures investment from Skype co-founder
This capital injection marks Loship as the first portfolio company of MetaPlanet in Vietnam and Southeast Asia.
Thai firms top the world’s sustainability ranking
Thailand tops the world’s sustainability ranking by number with 11 firmsselected as ‘Gold-Class’ by S&P Global BANGKOK, February 10, 2021...
How much do you need to retire in Thailand?
The lowest in Southeast Asia is Indonesia at USD290,599, followed by Malaysia at USD321,614. Vietnam is competitive at USD353,906. Cambodia...
ASEAN builds up minerals cooperation
The two-day workshop discussed the initial findings and recommendations from the drafts of the DPAMC Study and the AMDIS Scoping...