Media clampdown in operation

Thailand could be facing serious media clampdowns in new rules proposed today. 

Starting tomorrow, all media operators, including Internet media companies, face immediate closure if any news articles or comments, which could be deemed a threat to Thailands national security and monarchy, are published.

The Information Ministry invited all companies and operators to discuss cooperation methods in helping the government “to restrict, control, stop or destroy information deemed to affect the constitutional monarchy”.
Chief internet inspector Kritpong Rimcharonepak told reporters: “We seek their cooperation not to present articles, remarks, or information that will infringe the democratic reform under the constitutional monarchy. They can still present political comments on their media, but if anything goes wrong, the caretakers of those media must take responsibility.”

What is unusual about this is that the Thai people are immensely patriotic people. It is almost unheard of people making dismissive comments about the monarchy.

It will be interesting to see how this pans out and also what changes are ahead for free speech in Thailand. If a website like Bangkok Metblogs has a comment which is deemed “unpatriotic” by the Ministry of Information, will all access to the site be blocked by the ISP’s content filtering systems?

What are your thoughts?  

3 Comments so far

  1. laslo Affidavidia (unregistered) on September 25th, 2006 @ 3:29 am

    Sounds like the desire to defuse disidents through the silencing of their most powerful weapons. The words. Tyranny is constructed out of much less.

  2. Ronn Geremy (unregistered) on September 25th, 2006 @ 2:16 pm

    If these Thai dumbasses want democracy then they shouldn’t restrict the media at all.

  3. Daniel (unregistered) on September 25th, 2006 @ 2:25 pm

    It has, and still is, been a traditional method used by governments to control what bad press is published.

    A more modern example is the US. IT is a well known fact within journalism circles that you have no chance of publishing anything which shows how bad the situation in Iraq actually is. CNN/Fox and others are all under pressure to paint this rosy picture, and even bu$h himself is constantly saying how its going well and its a democracy thats living and breathing.

    So far i’ve not see any media clampdown, which is a good thing.

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