Thailand cracks down on Facebook users

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Riot policeAs the government braces for more political protests this week, police in Thailand have charged four people with causing panic by spreading rumours of a military coup on Facebook.

The tense atmosphere in Bangkok is due to an amnesty bill that the legislature will take up this week. The bill has the potential to usher in the return of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted by the military in 2006 and exiled on charges of widespread corruption and who is still deeply disliked by many Thais. His sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, is the current Prime Minister.

Around 2,000 anti-government protesters rallied on Sunday against the amnesty bill which they believe will allow former Prime Minister Thaksin to return to Thailand without facing corruption charges. The bill has intensified a deep and fractious division between the country’s two main political parties, which has the potential to escalate into rioting in the streets.

According to The Washington Post, “Technology Crime Suppression division chief Police Maj. Gen. Pisit Paoin said Monday that the four people in question posted Facebook entries with false information that could damage the country. If found guilty, they could face up to five years in prison and a fine worth 100,000 baht ($3,200).”

Thailand’s Computer Crimes Act bans posting information online that is against national security or causes panic. Maj. Gen Paoin also said at the press conference on Monday that, “[t]hose who ‘liked’ and ‘shared’ the posts will also face charges, so we would like to ask the public to contemplate very carefully about the way they use social media.”

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

As the government braces for more political protests this week, police in Thailand have charged four people with causing panic by spreading rumours of a military coup on Facebook.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Riot policeAs the government braces for more political protests this week, police in Thailand have charged four people with causing panic by spreading rumours of a military coup on Facebook.

The tense atmosphere in Bangkok is due to an amnesty bill that the legislature will take up this week. The bill has the potential to usher in the return of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted by the military in 2006 and exiled on charges of widespread corruption and who is still deeply disliked by many Thais. His sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, is the current Prime Minister.

Around 2,000 anti-government protesters rallied on Sunday against the amnesty bill which they believe will allow former Prime Minister Thaksin to return to Thailand without facing corruption charges. The bill has intensified a deep and fractious division between the country’s two main political parties, which has the potential to escalate into rioting in the streets.

According to The Washington Post, “Technology Crime Suppression division chief Police Maj. Gen. Pisit Paoin said Monday that the four people in question posted Facebook entries with false information that could damage the country. If found guilty, they could face up to five years in prison and a fine worth 100,000 baht ($3,200).”

Thailand’s Computer Crimes Act bans posting information online that is against national security or causes panic. Maj. Gen Paoin also said at the press conference on Monday that, “[t]hose who ‘liked’ and ‘shared’ the posts will also face charges, so we would like to ask the public to contemplate very carefully about the way they use social media.”

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