Smartphone protest apps go viral in Thailand

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Nok weedThai anti-government protesters are taking social media to a new level: During the week-long street rallies to oust the government of Yingluck Shinawatra, smartphone applications have been created to give protesters a kind of moral support.

One of the apps is called “Nok Weed” – the Thai word for whistle – that mimics the shrieking sound of a whistle, the symbol of the “whistle-blowing campaign’’. It lets users choose the colour of their whistle, adjust the volume and then tap the screen to sound it.

More than 70,000 people have downloaded the app, which made it the top app on Google Play Store’s trending list within days of its November 4 debut. Downloads not just happened in Thailand, but also in Egypt and other places with political turmoil.

In another app, “Thai fight”, the avatar of exiled ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra appears on the screen. The game lets users pitch Thaksin or Yingluck against one of 28 opponents, including Thai celebrities or other politicians like opposition leader Abhisit Vejjajiva whose Democrat Party is backing the protests.

Each character has a weapon. Thaksin, for example, strikes golf balls at opponents, Yingluck – whose childhood nickname is “Crab” – throws crabs at her enemy. Abhisit – an English Premier League fan – hurls soccer balls. The showdowns take place at local landmarks, including inside a Muay Thai ring or on the runway of Bangkok’s international airport. The game debuted November 19 and four days later hit the No. 1 spot on the Thai iOS App. Currently, it counts 80,000 downloads.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Thai anti-government protesters are taking social media to a new level: During the week-long street rallies to oust the government of Yingluck Shinawatra, smartphone applications have been created to give protesters a kind of moral support.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Nok weedThai anti-government protesters are taking social media to a new level: During the week-long street rallies to oust the government of Yingluck Shinawatra, smartphone applications have been created to give protesters a kind of moral support.

One of the apps is called “Nok Weed” – the Thai word for whistle – that mimics the shrieking sound of a whistle, the symbol of the “whistle-blowing campaign’’. It lets users choose the colour of their whistle, adjust the volume and then tap the screen to sound it.

More than 70,000 people have downloaded the app, which made it the top app on Google Play Store’s trending list within days of its November 4 debut. Downloads not just happened in Thailand, but also in Egypt and other places with political turmoil.

In another app, “Thai fight”, the avatar of exiled ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra appears on the screen. The game lets users pitch Thaksin or Yingluck against one of 28 opponents, including Thai celebrities or other politicians like opposition leader Abhisit Vejjajiva whose Democrat Party is backing the protests.

Each character has a weapon. Thaksin, for example, strikes golf balls at opponents, Yingluck – whose childhood nickname is “Crab” – throws crabs at her enemy. Abhisit – an English Premier League fan – hurls soccer balls. The showdowns take place at local landmarks, including inside a Muay Thai ring or on the runway of Bangkok’s international airport. The game debuted November 19 and four days later hit the No. 1 spot on the Thai iOS App. Currently, it counts 80,000 downloads.

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