BANGKOK — Facebook classified a self-deprecating phrase on the state of Thailand’s development as spam in the early hours of Labor Day.
Thai netizens who stayed up late into the early hours of Monday morning realized Facebook wouldn’t allow them to type “No Wonder We’re an Undeveloped Country” (som leaw tee pen phrathet doi phattana) in Thai characters as their status, since the social media platform classified it as spam.
Others pointed out that the Facebook system of spam prevention might have been triggered when people started posting the phrase as their status to test if it was really forbidden.
Although it is no longer blocked, the temporary banning of the mildly sarcastic comment prompted introspection on the nation’s development.
This post by the official page of the 1932 Revolution Plaque accompanies the viral phrase with a custom graphic contrasting the number of constitutions between 1932 and 2017.
Amorn Srisang wrote on Facebook, “Around 50 years ago, we were an underdeveloped country. Then 30 years ago, we became a developing country. Now, we’re back to being underdeveloped.”
#NoWonderWe’reAnUndevelopedCountry was the top trending tweet as of Monday morning. Some tweets found creative ways to play with the phase, such as this Disney-themed one.
— หมีพูห์ต้องติดเตรียม (@_ppoohboy) April 30, 2017
‘Som leaw tee phen phrathet doi phattanaaaaaaa ingonyama bagathiiii babaaaaaaa,’ tweeted @_Ppoohboy, tacking onto the trending phrase the opening lyrics of ‘Circle of Life’ from ‘The Lion King.‘
Facebook user Umaporn Sirivansinkul pointed out that Facebook might have classified the phrase as spam because many users were posting it to verify whether it was really blocked. The phrase couldn’t be posted even with a Virtual Private Network, or VPN.
‘You’ve become a forbidden word,’ captions the popular Facebook meme page Underground Karaoke, which adds karaoke subtitles to images of popular happenings.
— ซีมี (@seeme55555) April 30, 2017
‘No wonder it’s Prayuth, so underdeveloped,’ tweeted @Seeme55555