Immediately after writing our last post and wandering off for a bowl of noodles, we saw the Bangkok Post’s front page story of the day. We delayed this new post a couple of hours, and assume that many readers will have already seen this story. That said, it is such a display of political madness that we simply have to post on it.
The story claims that the police believe they are going to be “clamping down on lese majeste offences by shifting their focus to viewers of illegal content even if they do not post or share it.”
According to Pol Lt Gen Thitirat Nongharnpitak, “lese majeste cases involve three groups of people: the producers of illegal content; the viewers who leave comments, share content or click Like; and those who read or view without interacting.”
It was only a few days ago that the cops agreed that merely clicking “like” did not necessarily constitute lese majeste. But following the Facebook debacle, it seems that the dragnet is being thrown much wider. So wide that whatever skerrick of legality remained with lese majeste cases will be completely erased.
The Central Investigation Bureau chief warned that “users of social media will be treading a narrow path as police plan to target viewers in the crackdown even if they do not interact with those illicit webpages.”
If they can’t get at those overseas producing anti-monarchy content, the police plan to threaten every Thai using Facebook.
The police threaten: “The third group simply follows and watches. They leave no comments. Police are acquiring tools to identify this group of viewers and investigate why they like watching [the content]…”.
Yes, the police are now claiming that they are going to be “investigating” psychological motives, online accidents and curiousness because “[w]atching lese majeste content may be deemed wrongdoing.”
Of course, this sounds legally ridiculous, but that is the nature of lese majeste under the military dictatorship seeking to launder the internet of material on the king that is considered officially unacceptable.
Law and logic are no part of lese majeste. It is a tool for extreme political repression and for getting rid of those the king no longer finds acceptable
Given that even the dopes at the CIB are not going to throw hundreds of thousands into jail – at least not yet – they say they will “warn them first.”
This seems unlikely. It is claimed for example that hundreds of thousands and perhaps millions have viewed recent material on the king that the military dictatorship wants to scrub and erase from the collective Thai mind. If they are to be “warning” them all, the police would have to forget murder, rape, drug trafficking, traffic problems and several other areas where they make money.
However, the police corrected their statement just a few words later, saying “not all viewers will be warned.” Who won’t be warned? Political opponents will be at the top of the list. But the police, presumably with training in clairvoyance, will “screen those who have the potential to commit offences.” They claim that this “procedure will be conducted on a case-by-case basis and information from an investigation will be taken into account.”
Burglars and bank robbers will be free to commit their crimes because, if this police horse manure was true, no cop will be available for any other work. They will all be the king’s internet slaves.
Again, what the military dictatorship is doing is creating a climate of fear. They do this by declaring that every Facebook user in Thailand a potential criminal.