Thailand Essay - Steckler 1 Catrina Steckler Prof Wesoky POLSC 336 Political Censorship of the Internet and Radio in Thailand The political climate in

Thailand Essay - Steckler 1 Catrina Steckler Prof Wesoky...

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Steckler 1 Catrina Steckler 5/2/19 Prof. Wesoky POLSC 336 Political Censorship of the Internet and Radio in Thailand The political climate in Thailand has been laced with hundreds of years with coups and military rule. Thailand is considered the worlds last military dictatorship, which have caused the Thai people to be more accepting of martial law, then other countries would be. The practice of political censorship is something deeply embedded into the political system and thus the media industry. Technology platforms such as the internet and community radio are highly politicized making it difficult for civil society organizations and individuals to practice freedom of expression. While the internet has been increasingly difficult for the government to monitor, due to its fluid and expansive nature, the radio is under a constant battle between freedom fighter groups and the government. What exacerbates the oppressiveness of Thai people is due to the fast turn-over rates between administrations. Under martial law, the Council for Democratic Reform under Constitutional Monarchy (CRDM) forcefully suppress freedom of expression through various forms of censorship which are changing constantly. Despite the communication rights which are outlined in the 1997 Thai Constitution, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Thai people are forced to suppress their opposition opinions based on the current government. This paper will serve to create a deeper understanding of the corruption in Thailand through evaluating their internet and community radio censorship within different administrations. Within Thailand, the internet is common amongst the business community, higher
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Steckler 2 education, and civically engaged citizens ( Siriyuvasak, 2007 ). Internet sites such as Pantip, Sanook, Midnightuniv, and Prachatai are the most popular websites which have online versions of their papers and openly invite discussion and feedback from their readers. These online web forums are the largest form of political discussion in Thailand and have created a virtual democracy to perpetuate their civil society (Pitch Pongsawat, 2002). This type of communication has been growing rapidly in Thailand has become much more popular to voice political views as opposed to private media which are controlled by the state. The media censorship in Thailand began in 2006 after the military coups. During this time, the CDRM abolished the 1997 Constitution, dissolved parliament and then seized the television stations in Bangkok (Veerapaspong, 2007). This was the first time the Thai people had their political expression and communication rights robbed of them. At the time, the internet was one of the only platforms which political opposition was allowed to voice their opinions. This flagged the beginning of even harsher political suppression. After this, the political forums began questioning the legitimacy of the coups and the CDRM. During this time, however, the
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