Thailand Wants to Partner With Large Tech Companies to Censor ‘Fake News’

The Thai government has asked giant tech companies to set up centers in each of Southeast Asian country to combat “fake news”, fake accounts, and other online content it deems unworthy.

The centers would function as a shortcut for governments in the region to flag content as misinformation or unsuitable for public consumption.

That way, online websites and social media companies, as well as messaging apps, could be notified to take down the content as fast as possible.

The plan for online content regulation centers was brought up by Takorn Tantasith, the secretary-general of Thailand’s National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, in a meeting with leading tech companies such as Facebook, Netflix, Line Corp., and Amazon.

Takorn noted that the content verification centers are part of a larger plan by Thailand’s new digital minister to curb fake news and prohibit other types of content from spreading online.

In multiple Facebook posts, Digital Minister of Thailand Puttipong Punnakanta has stated that he will use “fake news centers” to take down child pornography, insults against the Thai royal family, and other content “harmful to Thais”.

The digital minister added that “digital media content should be clean”.

This recent push by Thailand is one of a number of moves to block fake news and other online content in the region, with Singapore most recently passing a controversial anti-fake news bill.

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