(RepublicanDaily.org) – In America, the debate around censorship by Big Tech firms rages on. This is a serious issue that requires careful consideration; however, it pales in comparison to some of the limitations on freedom of expression in other parts of the world.
On Wednesday, February 17, Thailand’s government warned its citizens about the legal consequences of certain speech on the Clubhouse app. Under Thai law, a person can go to jail for up to 15 years for to defaming, insulting, or threatening the country’s monarchy. This is known as a “lese majeste” law.
Pavin Chachavalpongpun, a Japan-based Thai academic, is an outspoken critic of the monarchy and the laws protecting it from criticism. He attracted an audience of around 12,000 on the Clubhouse app on Tuesday for a discussion about King Maha Vajiralongkorn. The government issued its warning the following day in response to this event.
I watched the Clubhouse community in Thailand grow massively over the past days as it rapidly emerges as a new platform for once-taboo discussions of the Thai monarchy. Didn't take long for it to now be on the government's radar: https://t.co/bddrmZjKut
— Patpicha Best (@patpichatan) February 17, 2021
Clubhouse has quickly become a popular outlet for criticism of the Thai government and its laws. In an interview with Reuters, Chachavalpongpun affirmed his commitment to encouraging people to speak up, saying that “what needs to be spoken will be spoken.”
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