Friday, July 11, 2014

Thai Junta's Facebook

As technology advances, the access to the Internet has become extremely easy and the frequencies of expression of thoughts on-line and off-line are almost the same these days. Thanapol Eawsakul, the editor of Fah Diew Khan magazine was arrested for leaving a comment against the military rules on Facebook and people say that this arrestment is unreasonable. Thai government banned Thanapol from making political comments, becoming involved in polictical activities, and traveling overseas without permission from NCPO. Thai government’s effort to silence critics increases the citizens’ doubts towards Thai junta. Thai junta is trying to restrict people’s freedom of expression on-line by secretly vacuuming up Facebook data.

When junta asked Facebook to hand junta Thai people’s personal information, Facebook rejected, so the government created a misleading Facebook application to acquire its citizens’ information. When Thai people try to get on to one of the more than 200 government’s restricted websites, people will have to click either “log in with Facebook” button or “close” button. That way, people who log in with Facebook and access the restricted page will get caught and be punished. After leaving a criticism on Facebook, Thanapol received a phone call from an unidentified military officer and the officer asked him to come to the meeting to exchange opinions and assured that he will not arrest him. But when Thanapol went to the meeting, a man took him to military custody and gave him the seven-day administrative detention.

Even after the military authorities announced that they would stop arresting people, so many people were unreasonably arrested. Thai government is violating Article 19 of Universal Declaration of Human Rightseveryone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers—by accessing people’s Facebook information and restricting their freedom of expression. This news article surprised me because I don’t want my government to know which websites I access and what posts or comments I leave on social network. If this had happened in America, people would have had stronger response towards the government. I think Thai people should stand together against Thai junta and get the right to the freedom of expression back.


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