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Thailand’s army chief has said that the Army Cyber Centre will closely monitor news deemed defamatory to the Thai Monarchy.

On 1 November 2016, Gen Chalermchai Suthisad, Commander in Chief of the Royal Thai Army (RTA), said that the army will use its cyber centres to monitor distorted news from within and outside the country. This relates especially to news that violates Article 112, the lèse majesté law, of the Criminal Code, Matichon Online reported.

He added that people should be cautious before sharing news and online content that could harm certain individuals and the nation.

When asked if the army’s efforts to monitor online lèse majesté content will also affect academic work, the RTA commander said “We will have to proceed in accordance with Article 112 on anything that could affect the [Thai] Monarchy. The cyber world contains both facts and fiction, so if people don’t know the facts they should not share the news.”  

Last week, a representative from the Royal Thai Police announced that authorities have investigated 20 cases of lèse majesté since the passing of King Bhumibol Adulyadej on 13 October 2016.

According to ACM Prajin Junthong, the caretaker Minister for Digital Economy and Society (DE), the authorities have also requested Google, Youtube, Line and Facebook for cooperation in monitoring lèse majesté content online.

Authorities will publish a report on the suppression of online lèse majesté content on 1 November, Prajin added.

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