Army trolls II

29 11 2020

We at PPT can’t help but think that there’s a connection between a Thai PBS report that singer/actress Inthira “Sine” Charoenpura and Pakorn “Hia Bung” Pornchewangkurn have been receiving plenty of highly critical comments on social media, casting doubt on their fund raising for the protester and a military information operation (IO) action recently revealed.

We say there might be a connection because all these “complaints” have led to “[d]onations are flooding into the bank accounts of the two main providers of protest supplies ranging from food to inflatable rubber ducks…”. This is reported as “a sign of ongoing public support for the pro-democracy movement’s actions.”

Yesterday, The Nation reported that “Pavin Chachavalpongpun and Somsak Jeamteerasakul criticised the recent information operation (IO) allegedly conducted by the Army to deal with the pro-democracy online movement.”

In an informative account at the Bangkok Post, it is reported that the Army has issued a “denial.” It is an odd denial because the Army has only “denied using taxpayers’ money to hire a company to conduct an … IO…” and/or hiring “any company to conduct IO,” while admitting that the leaked documents are authentic.

A military spokesperson claimed the leaked “slides were simply a drill for army personnel to learn how to use social media constructively.” How a drill does not use taxpayer money is a mystery.

The slides “show a coordinated process for tweets on the same issue by 17,000-strong personnel, complete with timetables, separation of duties between content creators and users, a division of units into ‘white and grey/black groups’, as well as instructions on how to avoid being banned by Twitter.”

The spokesperson described this as keeping the “armed forces … abreast of technological and platform development,” further explaining: “We regularly hold training and briefings to educate all levels of our personnel so they understand and know how to use social media effectively and appropriately.” Yeah, right.

The documents leaked “show two apps — Twitter Broadcast and Free Messanger — were used to coordinate tweets by 17,562 accounts.”

The Post has more details that show that the military is active in seeking to disrupt its opposition while seeking to circumvent Twitter bans.

Thousands of Army-related trolls are at work.



2 responses

30 11 2020
Royalist and palace trolls | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] might wonder if that account operates from the 11th Infantry Regiment base. Of course, the Royal Thai Army is involved, with “a coordinated information campaign designed to spread favourable information and […]

3 12 2020
Royalist and palace trolls II | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] an interesting piece at Asia Sentinel, showing how very deeply involved the palace has become in Royal Thai Army and state “Information Operations” or IO. There was already a whiff of this in recent […]

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