‘Liking’ and sharing a photo in Thailand can land you 30 years in prison

Dec 15, 2015

Gannon Burgett

Gannon Burgett is a communications professional with over a decade of experience in content strategy, editing, marketing, multimedia content creation. He’s photographed and written content seen across hundreds of millions of pageviews. In addition to his communications work for various entities and publications, Gannon also runs his multimedia marketing agency, Ekleptik Media, where he brings his expertise as a full-stack creator to help develop and execute data-driven content strategies. His writing, photos, and videos have appeared in USA Today, Car and Driver, Road & Track, Autoweek, Popular Mechanics, TechCrunch, Gizmodo, Digital Trends, DPReview, PetaPixel, Imaging Resource, Lifewire, Yahoo News, Detroit Free Press, Lansing State Journal, and more.

‘Liking’ and sharing a photo in Thailand can land you 30 years in prison

Dec 15, 2015

Gannon Burgett

Gannon Burgett is a communications professional with over a decade of experience in content strategy, editing, marketing, multimedia content creation. He’s photographed and written content seen across hundreds of millions of pageviews. In addition to his communications work for various entities and publications, Gannon also runs his multimedia marketing agency, Ekleptik Media, where he brings his expertise as a full-stack creator to help develop and execute data-driven content strategies. His writing, photos, and videos have appeared in USA Today, Car and Driver, Road & Track, Autoweek, Popular Mechanics, TechCrunch, Gizmodo, Digital Trends, DPReview, PetaPixel, Imaging Resource, Lifewire, Yahoo News, Detroit Free Press, Lansing State Journal, and more.

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How often do you ‘like’ or share a photo on Facebook? However often it is, don’t take it for granted – in Thailand, ‘liking’ and sharing the wrong photo on Facebook can get you up to 30 years in prison.

As laid out in an article from Quartz, a recent online incident took place that has left a Thai man in jail for insulting the royal family on Facebook, an offense that can carry upwards of 15 years in prison per the Thai Criminal Code 112.

Under Thai Criminal Code 112, often referred to as the lèse majesté law, it is illegal to insult any member of the royal family, including but not limited to a king, queen or heir of Thailand. The problem, as you may have noticed, is that the law is very vague, with no specific use-cases for what is considered an insult.

On December 10th, this ambiguous law was used by the army-led government to arrest automobile factory worker Thanakorn Siripaiboon after ‘he clicked ‘Like’ on a doctored photo of the King and shared it with 608 friends,’ said Col Burin Thongprapai in speaking with Agence France-Presse.

While we can’t verify exactly what image was shared by Siripaiboon, it’s very likely it was one of many compositions created by Reddit users during a ‘Photoshop Battle’ that took place on the subreddit r/PsBattle on Saturday, December 12th, 2015.

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A second charge was given to Siripaiboon for sharing an infographic, an excerpt of which can be seen above, on Facebook. Created by the New Democracy Movement, the infographic points out the inflated prices and corrupt financials behind a recent theme park created and promoted by the Royal Thai Army built as a tourist attraction.

Siripaiboon confessed to both charges and faces upwards of 32 years in prison – 15 for each charge (we’re not sure where the other two come in). According to AFP, Siripaiboon is just one of many individuals drawing attention to the corruption, with many others being charged with similar crimes for speaking out.

Next time a few not-so-kind comments show up on the latest photo you share on Facebook, it might be worth it to think back at this and at least be thankful that you never have to worry about facing jail time for sharing your latest photo.

[via Quartz]


Image credits: Illustration based off We love Thailand by Nopphan Bunnag used under CC BY 2.0

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Gannon Burgett

Gannon Burgett

Gannon Burgett is a communications professional with over a decade of experience in content strategy, editing, marketing, multimedia content creation. He’s photographed and written content seen across hundreds of millions of pageviews. In addition to his communications work for various entities and publications, Gannon also runs his multimedia marketing agency, Ekleptik Media, where he brings his expertise as a full-stack creator to help develop and execute data-driven content strategies. His writing, photos, and videos have appeared in USA Today, Car and Driver, Road & Track, Autoweek, Popular Mechanics, TechCrunch, Gizmodo, Digital Trends, DPReview, PetaPixel, Imaging Resource, Lifewire, Yahoo News, Detroit Free Press, Lansing State Journal, and more.

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