A former politician whose social gathering was the obvious goal of a disguised on-line propaganda marketing campaign by the Thai military earlier this yr says she and her colleagues plan authorized motion in response
BANGKOK — A former politician whose social gathering was the obvious goal of a disguised on-line propaganda marketing campaign by the Thai military earlier this yr mentioned Friday she and her colleagues plan authorized motion in response.
Pannika Wanich, former spokeswoman for the now-dissolved Future Ahead Social gathering, mentioned that they had already been gathering details about the military’s info operations — or “IO” — when Twitter introduced Thursday that it had recognized and eliminated 926 accounts that had unacknowledged or hid hyperlinks to the Thai army.
She described the worst facet of the military’s alleged motion to be “utilizing tax cash to trigger rifts and hatred amongst Thais,” and mentioned the previous social gathering will file a lawsuit when its fact-finding is accomplished. She didn’t say what fees in opposition to the military it could search.
Thai media have speculated in regards to the common nature of the military’s IO actions, however Pannika mentioned Twitter’s motion proved the allegations have been actual as a result of the social media firm is a impartial social gathering not concerned with Thai politics.
Twitter introduced it had taken down accounts with suspected hyperlinks to state companies in Cuba, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Iran, in addition to Thailand.
An evaluation by the Stanford Web Observatory mentioned the Thai military’s home info operation on Twitter “was used primarily to advertise pro-government and pro-military positions and accounts on Twitter and to assault political opposition, significantly the Future Ahead Social gathering and Transfer Ahead Social gathering.” The California-based group says it research “abuse in present info applied sciences, with a concentrate on social media.”
The Future Ahead Social gathering gained the third highest variety of seats in final yr’s elections, however was dissolved by the Constitutional Court docket in March this yr for an alleged monetary violation of election legislation. The ruling was controversial as a result of the opposition social gathering seemed to be focused by the federal government for its reputation and anti-military positions.
The social gathering’s leaders have been expelled from Parliament and banned from political workplace for 10 years, whereas its remaining lawmakers principally regrouped as the brand new Transfer Ahead Social gathering.
A military spokesman, Lt. Gen. Santipong Thampiya, advised reporters Friday that the military used Twitter for speaking with the general public and insisted it has no coverage to make use of false accounts for any info operations. He mentioned the military would contact Twitter.
The Stanford research mentioned the suspect accounts “tended to depend on a couple of fundamental techniques, corresponding to replying en masse with supportive messages to tweets from Military PR accounts and dogpiling onto tweets from opposition-aligned accounts.”
It added that typically little effort was made to provide the accounts added credibility, with many missing biographical blurbs and utilizing stolen profile photos.
“This was a coordinated however low-impact operation: most accounts had no followers and the vast majority of tweets obtained no engagement,” it concluded.