Digital Economy and Society Ministry told to monitor social media

Digital Economy and Society Ministry told to monitor social media

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon has instructed the Digital Economy and Society (DES) Ministry to strictly monitor websites and social media platforms that contain illicit content, noting those involved should be prosecuted and be made examples for the public.

The DES Ministry was also urged to work with state agencies to develop software and tools that can help gather evidence and find culprits.

The order was given as Gen Prawit visited the DES Ministry yesterday to follow up on its operations. There, the deputy prime minister delivered policies regarding the ministry's core responsibility and digital economy projects.

Speaking on the sidelines of the meeting, Gen Prawit said the government appreciates the performance of the DES Ministry because it responds well with government policies.

The DES Ministry, he said, is the government's major force that plays a part in the economy, society and security of the kingdom.

However, improper and illicit content has spread through social media and is playing a role in fuelling social conflicts, he said, noting this is especially true for those sending inciting messages and improper expressions.

Gen Prawit said the DES' creation of the Anti-Fake News Centre (AFNC) last year was the right move as the group will help cope with the current situation of disinformation.

"The AFNC makes it difficult for anti-government [people] to commit wrongdoings," he said.

DES Minister Buddhipongse Punnakanta, present at the meeting with Gen Prawit said the ministry, in collaboration with police and the courts, can remove posts deemed detrimental to security within two days.

A court could take two days to make a decision on illicit content and the ministry will notify online platforms to remove or block the content after, he said.

Since Oct 14, when fresh anti-government demonstrations began, about 400,000 URLs were found to have been involved in wrongdoings, Mr Buddhipongse said.

"More than 1,000 URLs are in the process of having those involved persecuted," he said.

Gen Prawit said fake news is concerning and all sectors must cooperate in dealing with them.

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