Archive for the ‘fake news’ Category

Thai Court Rules Against Fake News Law and Says Thai PM Already Has Tools To Deal With Speech

August 7, 2021

The Thai Civil Court recently ruled in favor of the media by suspending Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s regulation that restricts freedom of speech and threatens internet censorship.
The court said it was against the law.
The court’s decision was also announced in English.
Regulation 2548 (2005) (No. 29), which permits the suspension of internet service for Internet Protocol addresses (IP addresses) that have disseminated illegal information, violates Section 9 of the Emergency Decree on Public Administration in Emergency Situations,” the announcement reads.
They assessed the witnesses and documents and issued the injunction after examining and assessing them.
According to the court, there are many legal instruments establishing standards against illegal dissemination of information, and the government is able to educate the public, develop a better understanding, and challenge false information, hence the suspension of such Regulation will not hinder public administration in an emergency.
A complaint was filed against Gen Prayut, the Director of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration, by the Human Rights Lawyer Alliance and 12 media companies.
According to them, the 29th regulation should be rescinded, which allows the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) to cut off internet access to social media users posting content that may be frightening.
The petition listed three arguments. The prohibition on content “which may frighten people” is unclear and may conflict with criminal law principles.
In addition, the regulation empowers the NBTC to check and block internet access, which is illegal. The emergency situation decree currently in effect prohibits blocking communications between people. It can only be done under a serious emergency situation decree, but it was not in effect today.
Third, it violates Section 35 of the constitution, which affirms press freedom. The government may not block an entire platform or channel, such as an IP address, if it wants to block content.
The Reporters, VoiceTV, The Standard, The Momentum, The Matter, Prachatai, Dem All, The People, Way Magazine, Echo, and Plus Seven were among the media outlets that signed the petition.

Thai Media Associations Don’t Like New Fake News Law and Think It Is A Violation of Freedom Of Speech

July 31, 2021

It has been reported that the Thai government is cracking down on fake news. An order has been published in the Royal Gazette banning the distribution of false information that could lead to fear or misunderstanding. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha says the measure is intended to ensure the spread of false content online does not undermine the government’s response to the pandemic. Thai media associations say the ban on fake news infringes upon freedom of expression.
According to the Thai government’s news bureau, according to the order, published in the Royal Gazette yesterday and issued in compliance with the Emergency Decree, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission is obligated to direct internet services to check IP addresses and immediately suspend services. Afterwards, the providers must report details to the commission, which will then file complaints with the police. A provider’s operating license will be revoked if it fails to follow the rules.
Six leading Thai professional media associations called on the government to abolish the provision of the Emergency Decree that infringes upon freedom of expression in a joint statement.
According to the statement, the media associations reached the following conclusions:

  1. The Prime Minister’s insistence on enforcing these new measures, along with the government’s recent attempts to intimidate and take legal action against members of the public who criticize the administration during COVID-19, clearly show an intent to suppress freedom of expression.
  2. The government’s insistence that the new measures are needed to combat fake news underlines the administration’s failure to communicate with the public.

Occasionally, a few media organizations did report inaccurate news, but their actions were not the result of an intentional plot to spread falsehoods or damage society, as alleged by the government and its information officers. Media industry errors can sometimes occur, but they can be corrected by presenting accurate information. A journalist who makes such an error already pays a high price in terms of credibility.

  1. The media and news agencies should stand together against the government’s new measures. In addition, we urge the media establishment to ensure that their news coverage is accurate and compliant with the highest journalistic standards – so as to deny the government any excuse to interfere with media operations, which will, in turn, affect the public’s right to information.