State “facts” are not to be trusted

19 04 2010

As PPT posted yesterday, we recently discovered the Fact Report, a project of the Office of the Prime Minister in Thailand.  While a complete analysis and accounting of all of the sections of the website are needed, PPT is short on time, so for now we will simply make a few brief observations about the site.

The core of the site are a series of presentations on the events precipitating the current crisis in Bangkok. Everything is organized across time: the beginning date is 26 February, the date of the Thaksin assets decision, and the end date is unknown, with the visual calendar stretching into the future. Viewers can choose from a timeline (mixture of text and image), a flipbook (primarily image), or a list (primarily text), or a map (the Google map of Bangkok with key events marked).  Visually, the four different options are impressive — catering to the different ways in which humans process information.

The information available is highly selective, and many PPT readers will question the representations of the red-shirt protesters and the clashes between state forces and the protesters. Notably absent are any references to the threatening speech of the PAD and other non-affiliated actors.

What is unsettling to PPT about the site is that at a time when the state is continuing to shut down the independent media, it has set itself as the arbiter of fact. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is why a multiplicity of independent media is needed. The state cannot be trusted to report in any kind of balanced or just fashion on its own actions.

It would perhaps be worth pondering why the government even feels the need for such a site in Thai, when the domestic media has been pretty much reporting the government’s line all along.

In this case, the Abhisit Vejjajiva government and the military are whitewashing their role in recent events. This is the Orwellian state at work.



2 responses

20 04 2010
Jon Russell: Social Media In Thailand » Blog Archive » Political Prisoners In Thailand questions new government website

[…] Political Prisoners in Thailand (PPT) has criticised the Fact Report, a Thai-language website produced by the office of the Thai Prime Minister outlining the events, and timeline, leading to the current political state of unrest. […]

20 04 2010
Government anti-red shirt propaganda intensifies « Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] the same time, as well as establishing its own “facts” website, the government’s media war rooms have been working overtime getting fake posts on blogs […]

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