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Thai Gov't Welcomes Twitter's Censorship Plans

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the man-vs.-king dept.

Censorship 113

patiwat writes "The Thai government has called Twitter's tweet censorship move a 'welcome development.' Tweets may now be blocked at the request of the Thai government; the system will be used to discourage and punish lese majeste (criticism of the Thai King). The government previously declared that Facebook users worldwide 'liking' a lese majeste Facebook link would also be prosecuted; over 10,000 Facebook pages have been removed and hundreds of individuals, including children and academics, have been jailed. Calls to reform the lese majeste laws have been fiercely criticized by no less than the Army Commander, whose backing is critical to the government's stability."

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ZOMG (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38864871)

ZOMG FIRST!

Re:ZOMG (1)

datsa (1951424) | more than 2 years ago | (#38868255)

I find this comment offensive. Hopefully it will be banned in Thailand.

Moron (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38864883)

Anyone who needs laws to prevent criticism of themselves obviously has a problem, and banning the criticism is sticking their head in the sand.

Re:Moron (4, Insightful)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 2 years ago | (#38865327)

That's not exactly the situation.
The law is simply a stick for the military government with which to beat citizens with. It's the same with all these thought-crime type laws, and the king may or may not even care.

Re:Moron (3, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#38865783)

I'm pretty sure that in Thailand's case, it's not to keep people from saying bad things about the government, but to keep them from saying bad things about the king. The king's picture is on Thai money, and if, like us westerners do, you step on one to keep it from flying away in the wind you're likely to be severely beaten by the outraged populous.

The king of Thailand was on an American talk show in the '70s, and they would not show it in Thailand because the show's host's foot pointed at the king.

I was there in 1974 in the USAF, it was weireder than I could imagine. Absolutely nothing was the same as here; not even the colors of the dirt or grass. It was truly an alien place, and their culture is more alien to American culture than the fictional Klingons or Romulans.

Culture clash is the the internet's #1 enemy. What is a right to a Muslim in Iran (such as "honor killings") is a felony that could have you put to death in Texas. Freedom of expression is our right in America, but drawing a picture of Muhammed could have you jailed or killed in Iran.

Re:Moron (2)

DM9290 (797337) | more than 2 years ago | (#38867339)

Culture clash is the the internet's #1 enemy. What is a right to a Muslim in Iran (such as "honor killings") is a felony that could have you put to death in Texas. Freedom of expression is our right in America, but drawing a picture of Muhammed could have you jailed or killed in Iran.

Barbaric practices that need to be left behind in the stone age, need to be left behind with or without the internet. Labeling them as "culture" does not make them acceptable.

Honour Killings, female genital mutilation, and censorship of government criticism are objectively wrong. They are wrong in Iran, they are wrong in Texas, they are wrong in Thailand, they are wrong everywhere.

Re:Moron (4, Interesting)

Ltap (1572175) | more than 2 years ago | (#38868553)

Actually, I'm not aware of a single example of honour killings in Iran. If you want a better example of a "pinnacle of Islamic rule" Saudi Arabia (the US puppet/ally) would be much more appropriate. Other candidates would be Indonesia, for complicated reasons. Since Indonesia is primarily ethnically non-Arabic, yet Arabs are given higher social status and considered more "true" to Islam (due to "Arab supremacist" themes embedded in the Koran, not the least a prohibition (often ignored) against translating it), much like Spanish-descended people in Latin America (who have not "bred" with natives and are technically a non-Latino minority). You could probably make a decent argument for why Indonesia's Muslim population is so fervent -- compensation for feelings of inferiority due to not being Arabic is the likeliest.

It's also important to realize the context of why they believe what they do. Essentially, it's a form of semi-primitive tribalism focused on the family unit. Most societies, as they progress, inevitably abandon this model or heavily reduce its importance, but it is a very major underpinning to the Abrahamic religions. Essentially, it is patriarchal and focused on the absolute divine right of the patriarch to do whatever he wants. The fact that the prohibitions in the Old Testament limiting the power of a patriarch are so weak attests to the fact of how much control a man might have over his family. This sort of tribalism, applied on a larger scale, is the root for racism and nationalism, as well as other evils. Its primary focus is simple: defining a group so the members know whom they should include or exclude. Culture is another form of in-group/out-group xenophobia, which is why liberals tend to embrace multiculturalism, while conservatives tend to be far less adventurous.

As far as Sharia goes, it has parallels in Judaism and Christianity (and, indeed, parallel groups attempting to practice similar systems) because it is based on the concept of the supposed authority of the patriarch. This is something which supports not just calcified familial systems, including caste systems, but also feudal monarchies (the concept of divine right having been directly invoked by European kings). In this case, honour and prestige become huge factors -- anyone who has read about the Victorian high society would realize that, while there wasn't a whole lot that was illegal for upper-class people, but that they relied so much on being seen as "gentlemanly" and on being approved of by their peers that they were forced to hide any behaviour not condoned by their society. It's similar to the Inner Party of Nineteen Eighty-Four, with the proles being far more free (albeit while undergoing deprivation) than Party members.

In the cases of feudal societies or societies transitioning out of feudalism, rising egalitarianism could compel the remnants of the feudal nobility/aristocracy or of the general elite class to struggle to maintain their illusion of control and authority -- for instance, through censorship, as in the case of Thailand. In other cases, religion can be used as a proxy in an attempt to bolster authority (which, in the Middle East, has been well-documented with Saddam Hussein's increasing fundamentalism and religious authoritarianism as his rule went on, likely as a cynical attempt to keep Iraqis under his thumb). Many dictators tend to be adaptive opportunists who will adopt a tool (like religion) if they need it to get into (or stay in) power. Another good example is Hitler's embrace of Catholicism (and acknowledgement of Lutheranism) during his rise to power, in an attempt to gain more followers and to turn a largely ethnic conflict into a religious conflict as well, with the simultaneous replacement of pre-existing religion in his inner circle with a home-grown cult, complete with mystic origins. The rub for Hitler was that too much alignment with Catholicism would put him into the classic conflict that had dominated Germany for centuries -- the authority of the Pope versus the authority of the Holy Roman Emperor (or dictator). For small-time dictators in the Middle East, many of whom are Sunni (rather than Shi'ite countries), their religion is somewhat decentralized, much like independent Protestant groups in places like the United States. This gives them the easy ability to simply use religion as a political tool (to be fair, some religions seem almost tailor-made for it).

The problem... (3, Informative)

interactive_civilian (205158) | more than 2 years ago | (#38871683)

I live in Thailand, so I'm really getting a kick...

mcgrew said...

I'm pretty sure that in Thailand's case, it's not to keep people from saying bad things about the government, but to keep them from saying bad things about the king.

The problem with this is that the government is treating criticism of the government as criticism of the King, so they use the lese majeste laws to stifle their opponents. It is my understanding that the King does not even agree with the lese majeste laws and has pardoned a good number of people who have been convicted under them. However, he tries to keep his hands off political things because that would (apparently) ruin the constitutional monarchy he is intent on having (which doesn't really exist, what with all of the corruption and coups and such). Also, he is really old and basically on death's doorstep, and so probably doesn't even have the capacity to say anything about these abuses now, or may not even be aware of them.

So, instead the extremely corrupt and petty Thai government gets to have its way with these laws and use them to stifle any criticism of government they choose.

The King of Thailand is actually quite a decent guy who has done a lot of good things over his reign. The people love him, and with good reason. However he doesn't actually rule the country (though he easily could, and the people would support him), so the government has its own way and he keeps his hands off. And the Thai people get to suffer for it (unless they have the money to pay their way out of any trouble).

Re:Moron (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 2 years ago | (#38873369)

What weirds me out is their fascination with teaching the royalty through song and dance numbers.

Re:Moron (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38870255)

Democracy, a traditional way:
Being obedient is goood for you, rich rewards await. But if you choose to be little subversive, we have other choices for youu: is it a stick, a whip, or a gun? You can choose that it's not a gun, but then you have these options, and look, here is a bonus: a baseball bat, newer been used as it should!

Re:Moron (4, Interesting)

Mistlefoot (636417) | more than 2 years ago | (#38865333)

Yes. These foreign governments that cannot take critisism or understand jokes are ridiculous.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2093796/British-tourists-arrested-America-terror-charges-Twitter-jokes.html

Re:Moron (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | more than 2 years ago | (#38866033)

That's because their culture is different, they still have a king. Still, it's almost human nature of the king to do so, it's the society beneath him that's allowing him the power. If somebody walked into your home, a stranger, but a kinsman, and started talking shit about you, your family, and your home, how would you react?

As for me, I'd give you an extended tour of my ceiling. The trick of course is, don't walk in the front door and the situation will never happen. So, either the people living there (not foreigners with opinions) need to change their society if they don't like it, or they need to accept what they've built and more importantly so does the rest of the world.

Re:Moron (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38867513)

That's because their culture is different, they still have a king. Still, it's almost human nature of the king to do so, it's the society beneath him that's allowing him the power. If somebody walked into your home, a stranger, but a kinsman, and started talking shit about you, your family, and your home, how would you react?

As for me, I'd give you an extended tour of my ceiling. The trick of course is, don't walk in the front door and the situation will never happen. So, either the people living there (not foreigners with opinions) need to change their society if they don't like it, or they need to accept what they've built and more importantly so does the rest of the world.

Nobody is walking into your home and talking shit on you. They are posting things about some figurehead on the internet.

Fuck, you and fuck your protectionism of batshit-insane culture. What, are you going to come try to kill me because I invaded your home with my comment and disrespected your culture.

Re:Moron (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38868873)

Lol, what rock did you crawl out from coward?

1. Learn grammar.
2. Your too stupid to see why these things are happening recursively (dictator sees country as "their" house) and if you don't understand the why, do the world a favor and stfu.

You don't get an opinion on world affairs because your head is too far up your over-sized American ass for anybody to hear you.

Re:Moron (2)

SCPRedMage (838040) | more than 2 years ago | (#38869047)

Dear Troll,

If you wish to critique someone's grammar, please learn the difference between "your" and "you're" first.

Thank you,
Everyone with a basic English education.

Re:Moron (2)

mug funky (910186) | more than 2 years ago | (#38871767)

any troll post that derides another's grammar must itself contain a grammatical error.

it's the law of conservation of idiocy.

it also makes for a fantastic meta troll, which we are both responding to.

Re:Moron (1)

BenJury (977929) | more than 2 years ago | (#38866689)

I guess the difference is the US finds it far more sporting to simply read your tweets and prosecute* you for them, rather than not letting you say them in the first place. Although its interesting to see exactly the lengths they go to!

* Or deported in this case.

Re:Moron (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38870441)

That was probably an American payback for the case of the radio start denied entry into the UK based on what he said on air, tits for tats. The other option is that the DHS personnel lack the basic skill of functional literacy, implying that there is not a single person ever admitted in college in the whole DHS. Life must be hard for those poor things, always getting into fights with neighbors. Oh, wait..

Re:Moron (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38867541)

You might want to talk to a large swath of /. who use moderation as a form of censorship too. Groupthink is just another form of sticking your head in the sand while yelling out your asshole "I can't hear you."

Re:Moron (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#38868869)

sometimes, my eyesight is not so sharp (happens as you get older). I saw the heading as saying:

"The Gov't Welcomes Twitter's Censorship Plans"

and I thought to myself, 'yes, seems like something that they'd approve of and desire."

oh, its not THE (US, in my case) gov?

but it parsed the same way and the semantic validator said 'yes, accept'.

what can I say?

this is a statement about the world, today. its not about siam. now, 'out out out!'

Fuck the king (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38864887)

In his greasy yellow slope ass

Re:Fuck the king (-1, Offtopic)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#38864937)

In his greasy yellow slope ass

Guard your watch.

Re:Fuck the king (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38865091)

Thai government has mod points.

Re:Fuck the king (4, Insightful)

SteveFoerster (136027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38865345)

That, or maybe some moderators are repelled by racism.

Sounds more like China (1)

Suki I (1546431) | more than 2 years ago | (#38864907)

This sounds like they are taking the wrong lessons from Red China. Younger people who come to the US for school from China never heard of Tienanmen Square! Thai people seem more informed, but not for long.

Re:Sounds more like China (1)

Erect Horsecock (655858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38864957)

It has a different name there. something along the lines of "The date it happened-Riots" and isn't seen in the same light

Re:Sounds more like China (1)

Suki I (1546431) | more than 2 years ago | (#38865141)

It has a different name there. something along the lines of "The date it happened-Riots" and isn't seen in the same light

Not from the people I meet. It is totally unknown.

Re:Sounds more like China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38868045)

You need to get out of your parents' basement.

Re:Sounds more like China (1)

doconnor (134648) | more than 2 years ago | (#38865167)

It's called "The June Fourth Incident" after the May Fourth Movement which was a protest in Tiananmen Square in 1919 that eventually lead to Chinese Communism.

There have been lots of protests in Tiananmen Square and lots of repression of protestors over its centuries of existence. We in the west generally only know about the latest one.

Re:Sounds more like China (2)

jimmetry (1801872) | more than 2 years ago | (#38864963)

Not in my experience. Most of the people I've known from China did already knew about it before they came here.

Re:Sounds more like China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38865105)

"did already knew"
nice

Re:Sounds more like China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38865351)

Don't been so nitpicky!

Authoritarians welcome censorship (5, Insightful)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 2 years ago | (#38865027)

*GASP* No way!

In other news... (1)

blackbeak (1227080) | more than 2 years ago | (#38865301)

Horses Eat Hay!

Were the headline: "Thailand Rejects Twitter's Censorship Plans", that would be news.

Re:In other news... (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 2 years ago | (#38865539)

Horses Eat Hay!

Were the headline: "Thailand Rejects Twitter's Censorship Plans", that would be news.

Twitter's plan of censorship, not to redact anything, was rejected by the Thai Government.

Sh*t just got real... (0)

mihalisgr (2493310) | more than 2 years ago | (#38865065)

Sh*t just got real... Lets see if Anonymous has something to say about this now.

Re:Sh*t just got real... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38865299)

I know nothing

Re:Sh*t just got real... (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 2 years ago | (#38865663)

I know nothing

John Banner is that you?

Re:Sh*t just got real... (1)

Whibla (210729) | more than 2 years ago | (#38866077)

No, it's Manuel [youtube.com]

*sorry, there's an ad at the start :-/

Twitter (4, Insightful)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 2 years ago | (#38865087)

Spinless bastards for even building this functionality.
The correct response is "HTTPS everywhere; suck it up despots".

Re:Twitter (1, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 2 years ago | (#38865111)

*Spineless. Deinitly not spin-less. No siree. Lots of spin.

Re:Twitter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38865149)

LOL https works great until the king googles his name and sees your post.

Re:Twitter (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 2 years ago | (#38865291)

So, you use HTTPS to fight tyranny and you want freedom of speech .... Hmmmmm?
- Worse than a terrorist!
- Worse than a peado.
- It's P2P downloading film and song villain!

Whoosh..... ---- ..... DMCA-MAN to the unrescue!!!
What wrapper of hidden agenda will use to foil a country's right to speak out against oppression DMCA-MAN?
What's that? - People have been downloading turd throwaway standards lowering pop-song?!?! This has cost the corporations over a billion billion billion dollars in sales?!?!
HTTPS IS EVIL AND MUST BE STOPPED!
// sorry - I've gone mental..

Even worse than Etymology-Man! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38867147)

http://xkcd.com/1010/

Re:Twitter (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38865845)

The problem is that they have offices in many countries which makes them liable.

Re:Twitter (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38866071)

To which Thailand replies 'DNS lookups blocked and traffic dropped by IP address! No advertising money for you!'

Re:Twitter (1)

datsa (1951424) | more than 2 years ago | (#38868289)

Methinks you have too much faith in https encryption...

Re:Twitter (1)

rastoboy29 (807168) | more than 2 years ago | (#38868831)

You're not thinking this through.  How, exactly, would that help?

Think about it...the problem isn't that they're sniffing traffic.  They're just looking at Tweets and not liking some of them.  They can disapprove while reading them via https just as easily as not.

I do agree that it's spineless of US companies to give in on this.

what does twitter get from this?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38865145)

because it seems like a null/win scenario to me.

Re:what does twitter get from this?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38865217)

They don't get blocked.

The Thai king is a dick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38865151)

Post to be removed shortly.

What does it say (4, Insightful)

Reverand Dave (1959652) | more than 2 years ago | (#38865187)

That all of these technological marvels were initially used as a means to communicate during times of unrest and now they themselves are becoming instruments and willing participants in the suppression of insurrection and communication that has not been sanitized. This is the type of behavior that I expect from the likes of GE, Novatris, and ADM, but when supposed open web companies like Twitter start actively colluding with oppressive regimes it does not bode well for humanity as a species.

Re:What does it say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38865287)

Twitter was a tool of freedom during the Arab springs because the Arab springs were an attempt to install military regimes more favourable to the US and Israel (but I repeat myself).

Just as this lese majeste thing isn't a tool to stop criticism of the king but to generally find an excuse to prosecute people who make too much noise against the military.

Just as SOPA isn't to protect Hollywood specifically but a way of pushing through a general framework for heavier censorship on the Western Internet.

Re:What does it say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38865619)

Eh?

The regimes that came to be after the Arab springs are a lot more hostile to the West than the ones toppled.

Re:What does it say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38866455)

Tool of freedom?
Right. You don't understand middle eastern Arabs. They're not the same as the Arabs that come to the west. They're not interested in freedom, not democracy, they offer lip service because that's what the west wants to hear, and a precondition to receiving aid and support. Ghadaffi and Mubarrak were oth pro-west.

If you thjink the Arab spring was really about a switch going off in the populous' head and suddenly they're all about western democracy and freedom, you're either ignorant, insane, or both. This is about sweeping aside the irreligious baathist and baath-like parties and replacing them with the theocratic ectreme islamists. In nearly every case where there has been an uprising thus far, the muslim brotherhood has been opposition to leaders not overly concerned with religious affairs.

- Mubarrak was replaced by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, upon the brotherhood's move to allign with smaller extremist parties to form a majority.
- Palestine voted in Hamas, which is alligned with the brotherhood, some, especially in Syria, use Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood interchangibly.
- Assad and the Baath party's major opposition in Syria is the Botherhood.
- Gadaffi also not overly oncerned ith religious (much more concerned with the old tribal alliances, and was never a supporter of the various extemist islamic sects) will be replaced also by either the brotherhood or some alligned party.
- the brotherhood is a major political force in Jordan, and is said to be behind the uprisings there.
- Fadeyeen el Islam, a wing of the brotherhood was possibly behind the attempted uprising in Iran, though their habbits of Assassinating high profile Iranians didn;t get them the popular support needed.
- The iraqi Islamist Party, is Iraq's wing of the brotherhood, they're the domiating political force in occupied, post Saddam Iraq.
- Hadas is the Kuwaiti wing of the brotherhood.
- Islah which is believed to be behind the Yemeni uprising is known to be an arm of the brotherhood.
- The Brotherhood was also behind the uprisings in Oman.
- Ennahda, the largest and most powerful political party in post uprising Tunisia, where the uprisings originated, originated from the brotherhood.
- Hamas is an arm of the brotherhood.

The brotherhood is credited as being the "source of all problems in the muslim world". They're known to support extremists and terrorists, have a history or employing terror, even in the Arab world. Their stated purpose is to instill the Qur'an and Sunnah as the "sole reference point for ...ordering the life of the Muslim family, individual, community ... and state. Doesn't seem liek they're interested in freedom.

Twitter was not used as a "tool of freedom", it was used in an instrument of a wide-scale coup d'etat of the Arab world at large. Don't kid yourself. The fact of the matter is that the brotherhood, upon the uprising spreading to Egypt, called for uprisings against all regimes friendly to the united states. The brotherhood can claim all they want that they support democracy over armed jihad, but the fact of the matter is that such claims are contradicted by their own history, their methods and involvment in these uprisings (protip: Assad did not call in the Navy to run a coastal bombardment on Latakia over a "peaceful protest" anyone who believes that, is retarded), and by the fact that Hamas is well known to be an arm of the brotherhood.

These people have no interest in western freedom and democracy.

And SOPA has everything to do with piracy and nothing to do with censorship. It has been said before, posting pirated media and software is the digital equivalent of a verbal act, which is not protected by freedom of speech.

Re:What does it say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38869937)

And SOPA has everything to do with piracy and nothing to do with censorship. It has been said before, posting pirated media and software is the digital equivalent of a verbal act, which is not protected by freedom of speech.

"You can't link to that website" is censorship.

Travel Alert... (4, Interesting)

khr (708262) | more than 2 years ago | (#38865213)

The government previously declared that Facebook users worldwide 'liking' a lese majeste Facebook link would also be prosecuted

Yikes! I haven't knowingly liked any lese majeste posts or links, but you never know... I guess I'd better make sure none of my international travels involve a stopover at the airport in Bangkok, I'd hate to get a surprise arrest for something like that...

Re:Travel Alert... (4, Insightful)

Asic Eng (193332) | more than 2 years ago | (#38865523)

This is why real name policies are evil. Some people seem to believe they increase civility (though Usenet had a real name policy from the start, and it never had that effect), but even if that were true it would not compensate for the loss of freedom. Sure theoretically we could use other services, but social networks only work as long as they are popular, so for practical purposes we are stuck with just a few options.

Re:Travel Alert... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38866131)

Shoot, I guess I must be OK then. I haven't "liked" them either. All I did is +1 a bunch of them. But that's OK, right? As long as I didn't "Like" them?

Re:Travel Alert... (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 2 years ago | (#38867805)

Unless you can read thai I'm pretty sure you're in the clear.

Twitter isn't helping (2)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 2 years ago | (#38865229)

Forgive me if I don't understand what's happening here, and I may not, but from what I've read:

- Twitter gives governments the right to block Tweets from appearing in their country.

And that's it. They don't actually search for specific content, like YouTube does on video uploads. So wouldn't it ultimately be up to the Thai government to find these Tweets anyway? In which case, how is this in any way tied with Twitter, other than that they're blocking the Tweets from appearing to Thai residents (possibly allowing them not to get arrested)? Furthermore, Twitter provides a very easy workaround in that you can override their detection of your country and set it to something else (like, say, the US), and be able to see the "censored" Tweets.

Yes, what they're doing is unethical, but Twitter isn't doing much to contribute here.

Re:Twitter isn't helping (2)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#38865267)

Twitter is contributing by helping them to censor. The right thing to do is simply not do business in those countries where censorship is required.

Re:Twitter isn't helping (1)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 2 years ago | (#38865325)

Twitter is contributing by helping them to censor. The right thing to do is simply not do business in those countries where censorship is required.

The right thing for Twitter to do is whatever makes them the most money. As long as we live in capitalism, we shouldn't expect anything better.

Re:Twitter isn't helping (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38865401)

So you're saying it's not the right thing for them to do after all but only the Capitalist thing to do?

Re:Twitter isn't helping (2)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#38866351)

there's the corporate thing for twitter to do (you confuse that with 'right thing to do'); and then there's the ethical thing to do.

lets keep it like that, ok? corporations seeking to max their profits is corporatism. its not 'right' that they do this, and as you were iferring, corps are not ethical. by definition!

that, right there, is the problem.

can't fully blame twitter. we have to blame our whole system. in fact, our whole system IS wrong and to blame. twitter, google and the rest are just playahs following the allowed rules.

seriously, if we insisted that part of being a corp was to balance profit and ethics, we'd have a different world. I think, a much better world. don't you?

(cue animal house theme where everyone walks out of 'student court')

Re:Twitter isn't helping (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#38868331)

Twitter certainly has the right to do it, but to have a right to do something is not the same as being right in doing it. They have the right, but they're wrong in exercising that right.

Re:Twitter isn't helping (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 2 years ago | (#38865405)

Perhaps. But then, perhaps an all or nothing approach would harm more than it would help here. Twitter has been used in revolutions, after all; by maintaining enough diplomatic relations with a government, perhaps Twitter is staving off the country from going completely dark to the global web, as they may do if nobody plays along (at least on the surface) with their crazy censorship rules. If we can keep a discussion going, perhaps we can convince them otherwise.

Or maybe I'm just naive. One just has to remember that the users are not the ones doing the censorship here, but they'll be the ones ultimately punished if Twitter decides not to play along.

Re:Twitter isn't helping (1)

Forbman (794277) | more than 2 years ago | (#38866299)

The odd effect of that, though, is...the censors win by default.

Re:Twitter isn't helping (1)

DM9290 (797337) | more than 2 years ago | (#38867687)

Twitter is contributing by helping them to censor. The right thing to do is simply not do business in those countries where censorship is required.

The right thing to do would be for the US government to ban all business in those countries where censorship is required, the same way the USA treats Cuba.

Individual firms can not be expected to take ethical stands except by accident. They have a duty to shareholders to pursue maximum shareholder value.

Re:Twitter isn't helping (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38865777)

> They don't actually search for specific content, like YouTube does on video uploads. So wouldn't it ultimately be up to the Thai government to find these Tweets anyway? In which case, how is this in any way tied with Twitter, other than that they're blocking the Tweets from appearing to Thai residents (possibly allowing them not to get arrested)?

Under Thai law, you go to jail for criticizing the King whether Thai residents can see those criticisms or not.

Re:Twitter isn't helping (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 2 years ago | (#38867229)

But my question is, how does Twitter instituting the censorship affect the Thai government's enforcement of lese majeste at all? They'd have exactly the same set of data that they did before the censorship occurred.

State of Affairs (4, Interesting)

TempusMagus (723668) | more than 2 years ago | (#38865297)

First off I'd like to suggest that anyone with even the smallest passing interest in this read these series of articles here: http://www.zenjournalist.com/download-thaistory-123/ [zenjournalist.com] it is without a doubt the best resource ever published in terms of providing context on the situation. As someone with a personal interest in this (my wife and her family are Thai) I will say that the entire thing is a disgusting mess and has nothing to do with HRH King Bhumibol directly. The Lese Majeste laws are used by Bangkok elites to quell dissent. Pure and simple. If anything it degrades the monarchy more than anything since it turns the kings "face" into a symbol of oppression. This is veering the country into a dangerous direction since it is the monarchy who was perceived (perhaps wrongly) as a moderating force between the Bangkok elites and the more agrarian populace (who are mad to be middle class). The smallest shift from perceiving the monarchy as a force of moderation to one of oppression in the country is something that the country won't long tolerate. Even with national censorship, don't think for a second it will have a lasting effect - facts that range from the socially important (like the Queen's tacit support of yellow-shirt violence) to the sordid (like the prince's sexual escapades) still get talked about amongst friends. Young Thais are connected internationally and they are interested in this material no matter their political leanings. What complicates it further is the fact that the military's ranks are now filled with many red shirt supporters even though the top brass supports the elites using the king as a figurehead. There is not a lot that outsiders can do. You can boycott thailand as a tourist destination or write letters to the companies who manufacture there letting them know that you are not pleased that they financial support such a regime (which they do).

Re:State of Affairs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38865991)

> the entire thing is a disgusting mess and has nothing to do with HRH King Bhumibol directly

The Thai King is complicit in the injustices done in his name.

If he hadn't lured all the critics out with his 2005 birthday speech and then given the green light to the 2006 coup, so many Thais wouldn't be cursing him in secret.

Re:State of Affairs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38866415)

First off I'd like to suggest that anyone with even the smallest passing interest in this read these series of articles here: http://www.zenjournalist.com/download-thaistory-123/ [zenjournalist.com] it is without a doubt the best resource ever published in terms of providing context on the situation. As someone with a personal interest in this (my wife and her family are Thai) I will say that the entire thing is a disgusting mess and has nothing to do with HRH King Bhumibol directly.

You clearly didn't get much benefit from reading that series of articles. The author repeats time and again how the king and queen were complicit in every atrocity that was committed in Thailand since he usurped the throne. The execution of three hapless servants, the banishing of their war hero Pridi, the various massacres, most especially the one at Thammasat University in 1976 ... right through to the 2006 coup and all the blood spilled since then. Queen Sirikit even attended the funeral of one of the fascist protesters who helped close down the airport for a week (the king won't have anything to do with her by the way).

Even a recent biography that was basically commissioned by the palace basically paints the king as a 'Forrest Gump' character who just happened to be present at all the major events (read atrocities) but failed to to anything. This time TempusMagus, open it [zenjournalist.com] and read it and don't let those in-laws further derange your thinking.

Re:State of Affairs (1)

TempusMagus (723668) | more than 2 years ago | (#38867315)

I agree 100% with what you are saying. What I'm referencing (and not clearly I'm sad to admit) is specifically the Lese Majeste laws - not everything else. Those laws have accreted around the King to protect the positions of power that surround the throne.

Obligatori meme (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38865341)

I, for one, welcome our new royal thai overlord.

Too late to block; we already know about Thai King (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38865357)

We have already learned that the Thai King has several 9-to-12 year old boys kept in his palace in order to perform acts of sexual gratification for him. When it got out that he enjoys these pleasures while visually taking in old films of Adolph Hitler, blocking the tweets did nothing to prevent the spread of the information.

What the Thai people need to understand, is that their country should be an exporter of drugs, not an importer. The Thai King's cocaine habit (used by both himself and to enhance the performance of his boys) should be easily balanced by mass heroin exports, but instead, he is still confiscating opiate products whenever they're found, and the ultimate destination of these products is unknown. If he is reselling the seized heroin to enlarge his own coffers at the expense of Thai farmers, they need to know that. The Thai King, while paying attention to the anti-drug movement in the international community, is known to be encouraging his subjects to grow opium. Those subjects need to stop doing that, if they aren't going to receive the revenue. Again, this is something coming to light in spite of any Twitter blocking.

Re:Too late to block; we already know about Thai K (1)

parkinglot777 (2563877) | more than 2 years ago | (#38866793)

Spreading a rumour without citing creditable sources is an ill manner; especially, using AC to post is showing the intention of defamation. That may be what you do on tweeter as well, huh?

Re:Too late to block; we already know about Thai K (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38869299)

It was satire, you chump.

Why everyone is screaming agaist censorship? (0)

aglider (2435074) | more than 2 years ago | (#38865399)

There's been censorship everywhere since a long time.
The stronger always wins and talks/broadcasts/publishes/deletes/censors.
The weaker dies.
That's it.

Re:Why everyone is screaming agaist censorship? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38869585)

Oh, well, I guess if this isn't the first time it's ever happened then it must be wrong to object to it.

Or you're retarded. One of the two.

Censorship works (1)

Longjmp (632577) | more than 2 years ago | (#38865409)

Face it. censorship works. Just see comments above.
Ever noticed how many people obfuscate the words *fuck* and *shit* even here on slashdot?

Censorship is in your heads already.

Re:Censorship works (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 2 years ago | (#38866425)

There is a difference between profanity and censorship (as it applies to this story). Saying F**K rather than fuck isn't censorship because everyone knows what it means. Your brain fills in the rest. It doesn't kill the meaning if I say my F**king boss is going to F**king kill me if I mess up this report compared to my fucking boss is going to fucking kill me if I mess up this report.

Censorship is preventing the ideas from spreading. Using stars or euphemisms for profanity isn't censorship because the message is intact 99.9% of the time. However, what the Thai government wants to do is censor a message. Saying the Thai king is like a tub of lard and saying that Thai king is rather round would both be censored because it is the message that is censored, not simply avoiding the use of profanity.

Re:Censorship works (1)

Longjmp (632577) | more than 2 years ago | (#38866837)

Sorry to disagree.
While you are somewhat right concerning this story, as for ideas, I agree.
However, if you want to use explicit language, i.e., fuck, use it. If you don't want to, use more elaborate wordings.
There's no reason to hide profanity if you want to use it (personally, I'd object though).
My point is, people are used to get "beeped" if they use profane words. Thus they don't use it in postings which can be read by everyone else, i.e. the public.
So they censor themselves, even before "someone" can judge their words.

Easy Prey.... (1)

Roachgod (589171) | more than 2 years ago | (#38865675)

While everyone is saying how horrible this is, I say it is a GOOD THING, but not because I like censorship. Just like SOPA, these sorts of behaviors provide a HUGE competitive advantage to networks that can set themselves up to enable truly free communications. As things get worse, countries and areas that provide safe havens for real communication can also make a killing (just like some foreign banks do in aiding tax evasion). What someone needs to do is start building those services....

Some examples of royal "criticism" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38865699)

Numerous offenses have been considered "criticisms" of the Thai royalty, and have resulted in police investigation, at the very minimum, to decades in jail, to public lynchings:
  - Analyzing the royal family's role in the 2006 military coup and the political crises that followed
  - Not standing up while the royal anthem is played at the beginning of movies
  - Clapping while somebody is "criticizing" the royal family
  - Drawing graffiti on paintings of the royal family
  - Reporting or blogging about any criticisms in a way that repeats the criticism
  - Not deleting webboard comments criticizing the King immediately after being ordered to do so by the police
  - Calling for reform of laws that govern jailing of "critics"
  - Complaining that a member of the royal family is disturbing other passengers on a commercial airplane flight
  - Turning down the invitation to play music at a royal birthday party
  - Analyzing the King's wealth (he is by far the wealthiest royal in the world)
  - Mentioning the word "guillotine" or the Nepalese royal massacre in songs or public speeches
  - Questioning the fitness of the Crown Prince or his taste in women or dogs
  - Staging theatrical productions where one of the actors had a passing resemblance to the Crown Prince (although the resemblance was later found to have been photoshopped)

Basically, anything that isn't an overt display of love and adoration is considered "criticism." It goes without saying that public displays of fawning adoration of the King are ubiquitous, and "critics" quickly silenced and their families threatened and harassed.

It's ironic to note that in 2005 the King publicly asked for a hundred flowers of criticism bloom. "I must also be criticised. I am not afraid if the criticism concerns what I do wrong, because then I know," he said on national TV. In the years that have followed, he did indeed know, and thousands of people have been jailed for criticizing him... the suckers.

Re:Some examples of royal "criticism" (1)

cvtan (752695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38868397)

I think there is a Chinese precedent for the hundred flowers of criticism idea. Didn't Mao do this and then punish those who criticized him?

Your Approval Fills Twitter With Shame (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 2 years ago | (#38865813)

Or at least it should.

Let's Lese-majesty! (1)

Holammer (1217422) | more than 2 years ago | (#38865893)

I hear that Bhumibol Adulyadej is an avid rusty trombone performer and eagerly felching sailors at any given opportunity. True story! ... this isn't my best trolling but it should be enough to make it advisable to stay away from Thailand. Also, if you don't recognize those terms, don't look them up on wikipedia or urbandictionary. Save your rosy-cheeked innocence and run!

Re:Let's Lese-majesty! (1)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | more than 2 years ago | (#38867653)

I heard that he's been a gentle and considerate lover to practically every in animate object in Thailand. Rumour has it that the entire Thai government recharge his kingly powers of love by performing a solemn bukake ceremony, from which the king emerges with sticky eyebrows and a potent set of nuts. All heil King Bumball! May his glorious regime persist long after his syphilis wracked cock finally falls off.He is a rapist.

think of it this way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38866047)

profit and growth will always be more important than customers/citizens and freedoms.

Stability (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#38866451)

Army Commander, whose backing is critical to the government's stability.

When your stability is dependent on the backing of the Army Commander, your government is not stable in any way. History has shown that over, and over.

the king himself... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38867191)

Denounces the law. He has stated numerous times that he of all people should be critisized the most. He is actually a wonderful guy.
I myself being a Thai resident, am absolutely petrified (along with most thais) of what will happen when he passes away and his useless cunt of a son gains power. Cunt being an understatement.
mcot.go.th is absolutely useless of censoring anything and the biggest isp's do a half arsed job of filtering. Luckily tor works great here!

Streisand? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38867253)

10 internet dubloons to the first person committing lese majeste on youtube. 5 extra for something with feces.

Lese mageste links (1)

airdweller (1816958) | more than 2 years ago | (#38867643)

Can anyone post those links that I could like them? ASAP please.

Re:Lese mageste links (1)

cvtan (752695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38868437)

Exactly. This is Slashdot after all. Where are the links I can like?

Hold on a minute... (1)

Bigsquid.1776 (2554998) | more than 2 years ago | (#38868451)

I thought all this globalization was a way for the US to entice the people of other nations to freedom and democracy. I guess since this hasn't really come to pass (especially in China) the US has decided that if you can't beat em, join em.

I hope twitter will be the medium (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38868971)

where a huge crowd of people of the rest of the world speak out what they think of that pathetic dictator who calls himself king. And maybe what they think about a company that supports a pathetic dictator like him in oppressing the people.

Pandering to dictators should be illegal (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38872797)

Twitter should refuse to do business in totalitarian regimes. The more obviously things are suppressed the more people will ask...

Why a 61 year-old grandfather should be sentenced for 20 years in Thailand's infamous jails for 4 alleged SMS messages about democracy. (he's also been denied treatment for cancer - an expected death sentence). http://gjbkkblog.wordpress.com/2011/11/24/20-years-sentence-for-sending-sms/ [wordpress.com]

Why they use army snipers to murder unarmed democracy protesters taking refuge in temples and foreign journalists (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Search/Hiro%20Muramoto).

The more these injustices occur, and the less people can speak openly, the more distrust will grow. This should only make people ask more whether the Royals are fit people to amass a personal fortune of $35Bn USD from their business monopolies (i.e. ~50% more than King of Saudi Arabia or Sultan of Brunei). http://www.forbes.com/sites/investopedia/2011/04/29/the-worlds-richest-royals/ [forbes.com]

The more obviously they are suppressed, the more they will ask why the Royal heir-apparent makes his own wife eat naked on the ground on all fours, in front of guests, from the dog's bowl (http://www.wikileaks.org/wiki/Suppressed_video_of_Thai_Crown_Prince_and_Princess_at_decadent_dog_party). Are these people who love and respect all Thais? The apple doesn't fall far from the tree and still no one can explain the mystery death of the King's brother (original heir).

If the King is so rich for the good of the country - why does he need constant PR advertisements on television so many times every day? If people only ever hear good things about the King of course they will be brainwashed to think he is good. But when someone needs 20 years jail for a couple of SMS message to suppress people speaking the truth - then people start to wake up that the reality is very different. Now days, so many hundreds of people are thrown in prison every year, for no other crime than speaking the truth.

The current Royal family has always used power to change the law or government (even PM's knows this http://www.zenjournalist.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/yingluck-1024x652.jpg [zenjournalist.com] ). Royals control the army, the army changes the government at their will, the chosen government writes their own constitution to reinforce this system and protect each others business monopolies. That's how they have always done it.

It's now estimated that Thailand is blocking ~750,000 websites for lese majeste and open political discussion. More Thai's need to use proxies, Tor, TAILS, etc.

Whatever their intent, Twitter would be misguided to collaborate with these dictators.

It's not just Twitter's fault though (Facebook, etc. already censor too). It's already illegal for US companies to bribe foreign officials. The US needs to make it illegal for their companies to support other human rights abuses too (Twitter needs to be given a level playing field).

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