The Twitter hashtag #ไม่เอาทวิตเติอร์ไทยแลนด์, or ‘We don’t want Twitter Thailand’, trended online in the last 24 hours in response to the unveiling of Twitter Thailand’s official account.
The negative sentiments towards the new Twitter page stem from the fear that this will further hinder people’s right to freedom of expression.
According to Twitter’s blog post, the social networking service has been “cooperating” with NGOs and government departments and ministries for the past 12 months. This has led many Thai users to block and report the page as a sign of protest over the implication that their information has been provided to the Thai government.
Twitter is the main space for Thais to express their political opinions openly. It is seen as one of the few untouched frontiers for freedom of speech.
Some recent trending hashtags were #ตามหาความจริง, or find the truth, in reference to the search for justice regarding the crackdown of red shirts in 2010; and #รัฐบาลเฮงซวย, or incompetent government, which users used to express displeasure towards the government.
“Twitter Thailand” will be an epicentre for local engagement and trends, according to its page. It will serve “to keep people, partners and brands connected with #WhatsHappening in Thailand.”
“We will meet Singapore’s Twitter executive to discuss two issues: fake news and the coronavirus; and [we will use] Twitter to provide people with correct information, or #knowthefact,” said Puttipong Punnakanta, the minister for the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, on his Twitter page in February.
Puttipong also added that they will monitor violent content on the social networking site, such as the Korat shooting, as it violates Twitter’s policy.
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