Massive censorship

8 04 2010

The Nation (9 April 2010) cites various government sources that suggest there is now massive censorship in Thailand under the military-backed government’s emergency decree. As noted in earlier posts, the government has closed the red shirt People TV and Prachatai, along with 35 other websites. That all now looks like the tip of a censorship iceberg.

The report states that: “Under the state of emergency declared on Wednesday, the government also shut down PTV and its related websites, as well as another 10,000 pornographic and other websites deemed ‘inappropriate’.” Most of these are those seen as anti-monarchy. According to the report, “an ICT source said websites deemed to have broadcast content insulting the monarchy had also been shut down under the emergency rule. Earlier, the government sought court orders to close more than 9,000 different URLs.”

The government is also going after red shirt community radio stations it claims are “inciting public unrest.” The government stated that it would “deal with community radio stations that broadcast such messages from the protest sites at the Rajprasong intersection and the Phan Fa Bridge.” In other words, this is an attempt to suppress all information coming from media that is oppositional.

From 2Bangkok.com, which has some other useful reproductions from red shirt magazines.

PM’s Office Minister in charge of shutting down media, Sathit Wongnongtoey, said: “The … authorities needed to suspend the broadcasts because the content contained distorted facts and was aimed at inciting unrest.” No evidence provided. At the same time, as the Thai Journalists’ Association has pointed out, “the government continued to use state-owned radio and TV station to present one-sided information. The government also allowed other radio stations and another satellite TV to present similar content of state media, which could lead to further rifts in the society. This could lead to criticism that the government was using double standard law enforcement.”

Sathit also said the authorities would target the Voice of Thaksin magazine.

Sathit seems to think that the public is rather daft and believe anything at all, for he makes the remarkable claim that “the actions taken by the authorities were not aimed at persecuting anyone, or any group of people.” He’s also got a bunch of fairies buzzing around his back garden.


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9 04 2010
Jon Russell: Social Media In Thailand » Blog Archive » Thai Government Enforces Online Media Block

[…] Political Prisoners in Thailand has details of the latest round of internet censorship in Thailand which has affected the anti-government protesting UDD movement, aka the red shirts. The Nation (9 April 2010) cites various government sources that suggest there is now massive censorship in Thailand under the military-backed government’s emergency decree. As noted in earlier posts, the government has closed the red shirt People TV (PTV) and Prachatai, along with 35 other websites. […]

9 04 2010
29 04 2010
Global Voices Online » Thailand: Online censorship amid protests

[…] everything to weaken the protests, including the use of emergency powers to block TV stations, community radio stations, and websites that broadcast “subversive” […]

2 05 2010
Recent censorship in review-Global Voices « FACT – Freedom Against Censorship Thailand

[…] everything to weaken the protests, including the use of emergency powers to block TV stations, community radio stations, and websites that broadcast “subversive” […]