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Under martial law, Thailand will shut down some websites and monitor social media

martial law thailand

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The kingdom of Thailand is under martial law. This is, according to the army, to stop the ongoing political unrest and bring the country back to peace. Although people can continue their lives as per usual for the most part, there are some things that the people of Thailand should know.

Some websites are banned

Similar to TV and radio channels, any websites that cause trouble could be banned. According to Prachathai, the website shutdown has begun already. So far, six websites have been shut down due to inappropriate content. Although it’s not clear yet what the six sites are, hundreds more are being watched as well.

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) commissioner insists this is not censorship. “This is to ask for cooperation to monitor content which may affect peace and order. THIS IS NOT CENSORSHIP AT ALL, but a blockade of only content or websites which may contravene to public morality and cause conflict and unrest and threat to national security,” the commissioner told media on Wednesday after a meeting between the censorship body and 105 Thai ISPs.

Another commissioner from the NBTC stated that if this is not a coup, then freedom of speech should be maintained.

In addtion, the NBTC has also asked for cooperation from Thai ISP operators to shut down inappropriate websites within one hour.

Watch what you say

We’ve reported already that the army has seized 14 satellite TV channels from both anti-government and pro-government sides, as well as 300 community radio networks. People have turned to social networks as a source for news. However, it’s not okay to just say ‘anything’ on social channels. According to Thai PBS, the army has the authority to ban provocative messages on social media and websites. What does this mean?

Social media operators and webmasters were asked by the Peace and Order Maintaining Command (POMC) today to stop posting messages or statements which are deemed provocative, inciting violence, unreliable or in violation of the law.

The Peace-keeping Directorate warned that any social media operators or webmasters who failed to follow its request might face suspension of their operations or shutdown of their websites.

Also, the webmasters and the media operators may also face legal proceedings.

In addition, the POMC will talk to big social media services, such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Line to ask for cooperation.

See: Under martial law: tanks hit streets of Thailand while people take selfies and post pics of hot soldiers
The bottom line is that although the atmosphere is not too cheerful, no violence has emerged as a result of the martial law. Just be careful of what you say and don’t provoke any unnecessary arguments.

Editing by Paul Bischoff

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