Twitter bans account of prominent Thai hospital administrator

Twitter banned the account of a prominent Thai hospital administrator on Wednesday, although no reason was given for the ban.

Dr Suwadee Puntpanich, a director at Thonburi Bamrungmuang Hospital, was a prominent Twitter presence in Thailand with her account noted its criticism of the government’s Covid response and praised for finding hospital beds for hundreds of Covid-19 patients.

Suwadee’s regularly tweeted updates about government vaccine policy and had criticized the government for now allowing private hospitals to bring in their own vaccine.

Suwadee has also spent the last two weeks helping out Covid-19 positive patients on Twitter find a bed due to lack of hospital space in government facilities.

Her activism has resulted in Troll campaigns mounted by unknown actors and has been the subject of criticism from government officials.

Arthit Suriyawongkul, a coordinator for the Thai Netizen Network, told Thai Enquirer that it was not uncommon for government or private groups that support the government to mount mass ‘reporting’ campaigns against prominent voices.

“We have never seen this kind of campaigned used on someone with Covid views but in the past there have been campaigns against political oppositions,” he said.

Arthit warned that one should not jump to quick conclusions about the cause of the ban because large social media networks were especially sensitive to Covid-19 news over the past year.

“It maybe an internal automatic algorithm that has caused this, we should not guess,” he said.

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