Last week, the micro-blogging website Twitter announced an implementation that gives them the possibility to withhold certain tweets to be viewable from certain countries, if legally required to do so. The backlash was expected and came in swiftly with countless of users express their #outrage. While some see an actual improvement in Twitter’s new policy as they make the process transparent in contrast to previously just deleting the offending tweeting.
Of course many are fearing that this move will enable governments to curtail freedom of speech by requesting Twitter to blank out unwanted tweets that is going against a sovereign narrative and thus rendering campaigns of minority voices on the social media service, that has been often attributed to be a vital tool in the Arab Spring, ineffective.
One of these countries is of course Thailand, where freedom of speech has been steadily on the decline over the past few years and recents months have seen an intense and emotional debate of the Kingdom’s ambiguous, but yet draconian lèse majesté law. While groups demanding a reform or the complete removal of Article 112 of the Criminal Code are battling with hardcore royalists and other opportunists, who are of course still upholding the notion that the royal institution needs to be protected above all else, the government of prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra are maintaining their past stance and denying any move to amend the law whatsoever.
January 31, 2012
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