Police in Thailand have opened investigations of four people for supposedly causing panic by posting rumours of a possible military coup on Facebook.
Such rumours are commonplace in Thailand and it would take more than a few articles on Facebook
to create even a credible rumour. But of course authorities are prone to go over the top, and a police chief has threatened to charge anyone who even liked the postings.
The move comes as Bangkok braces for possible political protests this
week coinciding with a reconciliation bill related to the 2006 coup in the country.
Technology Crime Suppression division chief Police Maj. Gen. Pisit Paoin said that the four posted Facebook entries with false information that could damage the
country. Among those accused are Sermsuk Kasitipradit, the political editor of public television channel TPBS, and a local pro-government protest leader. The postings mentioned a possibility of a military coup and urged the public to hoard food and
water. Pisit threatened:.
Those who 'liked' and 'shared' the posts will also face charges, so we would like to ask the public to contemplate very carefully about the way they use social media,
than 1,000 anti-government protesters kicked off a rally in Bangkok on Sunday as lawmakers were scheduled to deliberate on the controversial bill on Wednesday. Last week, the government invoked the Internal Security Act in three Bangkok districts, citing
the possibility of protest violence. The act, in effect from Aug. 1 - 10, authorizes officials to seal off roads, take action against security threats, impose curfews and ban the use of electronic devices in designated areas. Peaceful and unarmed rallies
are allowed under the law.