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NBTC Countering Fake News in Thailand

The government of Thailand has ordered a blanket ban on the distribution of “fake news” or information causing public fear across all media platforms. The announcement, signed by the Prime Minister of Thailand and published in the Royal Gazette on July 30 (Friday). It was issued in compliance with Section 9 of the emergency decree.

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, while announcing the “emergency” decree, said the measure is intended to make sure false content spread online doesn’t undermine the government’s management of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Under the order, which was made official in the Royal Gazette, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission (NBTC) is required to instruct Internet service providers (ISPs) to check IP addresses and immediately suspend services of any such media houses that spread “false or distorted” news causing panic, misunderstanding or confusion “affecting state security, abusing the rights of others, and order or good morality of the people”.