- #IVapeIVote may have helped Trump back off proposed vaping ban 8 Years Ago
- Whataburger blasted for refusing to serve drag queen 8 Years Ago
- ‘Justice League’ actors show support for the Snyder Cut campaign Today 8:08 AM
- Laura Loomer may be a fringe candidate, but she’s being funded by big-time GOP donors Today 8:00 AM
- TikTok teen makes a video of his English teacher, the guy who sang ‘Story of a Girl’ Today 7:50 AM
- The teens of TikTok are doing just fine, thank you very much Today 7:00 AM
- ‘Watchmen’ episode 5: Looking Glass just became one of the most compelling characters Sunday 9:05 PM
- Man allegedly kills girlfriend, then pretends to be her on Facebook Sunday 4:29 PM
- Trevor Lawrence met TikTok teen who looks just like him Sunday 3:48 PM
- Trump’s hospital visit spawns conspiracy theories Sunday 2:49 PM
- ‘SNL’ skit combines Harry Styles, the Popeyes chicken sandwich, and Disney+ Sunday 2:02 PM
- Doctored photo of GOP congresswoman flipping the bird fools critics Sunday 1:05 PM
- Internet scammers taking advantage of Narwhal the ‘unicorn’ rescue puppy Sunday 12:19 PM
- Sunday Night Football: How to stream Bears vs. Rams live Sunday 12:00 PM
- CupcakKe’s month-long ‘water fast’ has fans concerned Sunday 11:24 AM
Thai-German journalist warns against Twitter’s censorship capabilities
In Thailand, where defamation cases against the monarchy carry a significant punishment, critics warn about the dangers of Twitter’s censorship capabilities.
That’s why Thailand’s support of Twitter’s new censorship capabilities is so disturbing, said Saksith Saiyasombut, a German journalist who has written extensively on Thailand’s freedom of speech issues over the last two years.
“The fact that Thailand has stormed to the front to become the world’s first government to endorse Twitter’s new policy is staggering and yet unsurprising, given its track record on censorship and declining freedom of speech in recent years,” Saiyasombut told the Daily Dot.
Last week Twitter announced that it can now censor tweets country by country in compliance with local laws. In Thailand that law falls under Article 112 of lese-majeste, which prohibits “defamatory, insulting or threatening comments about the royal family,” reported The Sydney Morning Herald.
It shows the country’s past and present governments’ apparent obliviousness to the world’s attention to the dismal situation – with each unjust arrest and each over-emphasizing show of loyalty the law is doing exactly the opposite of what it is supposed to do: to protect the monarchy.
One of these defamation cases surfaced in May 2011 after a Thai-born U.S. citizen pleaded guilty to translating a banned biography of King Bhumibol Adulyadej on his blog. Another 61-year-old Thai citizen was jailed for 20 years after he sent a defamatory text message about the king last year, reported the Morning Herald.
While Twitter believes that its new censorship strategy is in the best interest of its users, Saiyasombut argues that it will further stifle freedom of speech in a country plagued with injustice.
“The draconian nature of Article 112 of the criminal code has been stifling any progress on political debates,” Saiyasombut said. “And thanks to its ambiguity to define defamation to the king and the royal institution, and the fact that such a complaint can be filed by anyone from anywhere, enables rampant misuse that has been blatantly obvious over the past years.”
Photo from Saksith Saiyasombut
Fernando Alfonso III served as an early Reddit and 4chan reporter and the Daily Dot’s first art director until 2016. He’s gone on to report at Lexington’s Herald-Leader and at the Houston Chronicle.