Vogue fashion magazine has been reporting on the dangers of social media posts that contain images which
included alcohol brands. Vogue magazine writes:
Tourists might not realize as they make their guidebook-mandated pilgrimage to nightlife hotspots like Khao San Road, is that despite the country's many Full Moon parties and bar girls, alcohol advertising is illegal. And posting a photo
on social media of your beer by the beach could count as advertising.
Recently police have begun to strictly enforce 2008's Alcoholic Beverage Control Act, which bans displaying the names or logos of products in order to induce people to drink such alcoholic beverages, either directly or indirectly.
Last month, police announced their intention to more closely patrol social media and charge those found breaking the law. That means even if your favorite actress wasn't being paid for her endorsement and really was just sharing a photo
with a drink by the pool or on a night out, she could find herself facing a 50,000 baht (about $1,500 USD) fine for indirectly inducing drinking.
Earlier this month, eight local celebrities were fined for posting selfies with alcoholic drinks on social media, with Thai Asia Pacific Brewery and Boon Rawd Brewery Co. (the producer of Singha beer) also implicated in the case. But
police aren't just monitoring the accounts of the rich and famous -- at the beginning of August, three bar girls found themselves arrested after making a Facebook Live video inviting people to come enjoy a beer promotion.
Several films about refugees have been censored for showing at a festival in Malaysia.
Activists say the Film Censorship Board (LPF) officials came to the Refugee Festival in Kuala Lumpur late last week, subsequently demanding the partial censorship of Bou , a film about trafficked brides from Burma (Myanmar), and
total ban on Kakuma Can Dance about refugee hip hop dancers in Kenya.
Refugee Festival organiser Mahi Ramakrishnan, who directed Bou (bride in the Rohingya language) said Malaysian authorities turned up immediately prior to the opening of the event to force the filmmakers to gain prior clearance from the LPF
before screening their work.
Ramakrishnan later showed a cut version of Bou on Aug 13, in which the LPF demanded certain, politically sensitive scenes were muted, played without subtitles or simply removed, including one showing footage of Malaysia's Prime Minister
Najib Razak. According to campaign group Fortify Rights, another such scene is where a human trafficker explains false passports for Rohingya child brides are made in Bangladesh before the trafficker will pay money to clear [Malaysian]
Shakespeare Must Die is a 2012 Thailand horror drama by Ing Kanjanavanit.
Starring Pirun Anusuriya, Sudhisak Bamrungtrakun and Minta Bhanaparin.
Thailand's Administrative Court has rejected a petition by the producer and director of a feature film against a ban imposed by the Film and Video Censorship Committee five years ago.
Shakespeare Must Die was banned from being screened in Thailand on the grounds that the movie's political content might cause divisiveness among people in the country.
The film, directed by Smanrat Ing K Kanjanavanich and produced by Manit Sriwanichpoom, is an adaptation of Macbeth , a tragedy by English writer William Shakespeare. It depicted both an ambitious general who becomes king through
murder, and another world in which the country's leader believes in superstitious, megalomaniac and murderous dictatorship. He is known only as Dear Leader and has a scary, high-society wife. The movie clearly alluded to prime minister
Thaksin Shinawatra who was popular with working people but alienated the Thai elite.
The Administrative Court ruled that even though the story is fictional, the movie's content might cause disunity among people. It contains scenes based on a photograph from Bangkok's 1976 student uprising and violent scenes from red-shirt
Manit said the filmmakers would appeal the court's verdict. I feel like we didn't get justice, he said.
Residents of Xinjiang, an ethnic minority region of western China, are being forced to install spyware on their mobile phones.
On July 10, mobile phone users in the Tianshan District of Urumqi City received a mobile phone notification from the district government instructing them to install a surveillance application called Jingwang (or Web Cleansing). The message said
the app was intended to prevent [them] from accessing terrorist information.
But authorities may be using the app for more than just counter-terrorism. According to an exclusive report from Radio Free Asia, 10 Kazakh women from Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture were arrested for messages sent to a private WeChat group chat
soon after they installed the app.
The notification from police said the application would locate and track the sources and distribution paths of terrorists, along with illegal religious activity and harmful information, including videos, images, ebooks and documents.
Jingwang's website describes the application as follows:
Jingwang is a protection service with an adult and child categorization system introduced by Jiangsu Telecom. The main function is to block pornographic websites, online scams, trojan horses, and phishing sites; to alert users of how much time
they spend online; and to enable remote control of one's home network. The tool is intended to help kids develop a healthy lifestyle by building a safe web filter for the minors.
Of course, any tool with these capabilities could be used in multiple ways. For example, the app's remote control feature could enable state actors or even hackers to manipulate or steal from a person's home network.
The move is consistent with other measures of control over digital activities in the region. While stories of digital censorship in China often focus on the experiences of users in major cities in the east and south, the reality is often more
bleak for those living in remote, embattled ethnic minority regions such as Xinjiang and Tibet. Seeking to contain unrest and discontent in conflict areas, authorities often impose extreme censorship and surveillance measures and routine Internet
Authorities from Xinjiang are checking to make sure that people are using the official Jingwang application. A mobile notification demanded people install the app within 10 days. If they are caught at a checkpoint and their devices do not have the
software, they could be detained for 10 days. This is a setback on the development of technology. They forced people to use devices designed for the elderly. It is a form of confinement by through surveillance technology. We are back to Mao's
Images from mainland China also posted a product description of Jingwang which explained that the tool can negate the password requirement of a Windows operating system and access the computer hard disk with no restrictions. Once installed with
Jingwang, computers and mobiles in Xinjiang, would become electronic handcuffs.
International over-the-top (OTT) content providers have been the bane of Thai regulator National Broadcasting and Telecommunications
Commission's (NBTC) existence over the past few months.
The supposedly independent communications censor seems to be obsessed with finding ways to curb the likes of Facebook, Google, YouTube and Alibaba. In early April it boldly suggested imposing some kind of bandwidth fee on the consumption of OTT
services, requiring OTT players to have an operating licence to run a business in Thailand and even making them pay a value-added service tax for transactions by local merchants.
The head of the broadcasting committee, Natee Sukonrat, was quoted as saying users on social media who influence public opinion will have to be reined in.
What on the surface may seem to be an effort to create a more level playing field for the mobile players could also be seen as a thinly disguised attempt to give the regulator the power to more easily monitor and censor content the government is
finding difficult to regulate. The widely-criticised proposals are merely a backhanded move to bypass current legal processes and give the regulator the authority to demand the removal of content the military-run government considers illegal
without waiting for a court order, which the government has complained is time consuming.
Facebook and co would not play ball with Thai government requests and the government was forced drop the plan to register OTT players for tax purposes. However the government said that it would push ahead to replace several weak points in the
censorship process and come up with a revised proposal in 30 days.
And now the junta's ominously named National Reform Steering Assembly this month approved an 84-page social media censorship proposal, which would require such things as fingerprint and facial scanning just to top-up a prepaid plan, all in an
effort to be able to identify those posting content to OTT services. The push for fingerprint and facial recognition is in addition to existing requirements for all SIM users to register with their 13-digit national IDs.
Commentators say the stringent rules are similar to those in use in China and Iran.
New censorship rules issued by Bejing will prohibit portrayals of homosexuality, prostitution and drug addiction in online videos. The China
Netcasting Services Association (CNSA) is targeting what they consider abnormal sexual activity.
The rules which were issued on Friday demand that online video platforms hire at least three professional censors. They were ordered to view entire programmes and take down any considered not sticking to the correct political and aesthetic
Those who don't adhere to the new rules face being reported to the police for further investigation, according to Xhinua state news agency.