BANGKOK — Thailand’s military regime has scolded internet users for mocking junta leader and Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha with photoshopped images posted on social media.
"There have been people with ill intention altering photos of the NCPO leader and posting them on social media in order to mislead the public," said spokesperson of the junta's National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) Col. Winthai Suvaree at a press conference yesterday.
"It is very inappropriate. It should not be done," Col. Winthai said. "I am sure that the people are aware it is an effort to smear Gen. Prayuth."
While most major Thai media agencies are either controlled by the state or practicing self-censorship in the face of the junta's intimidation tactics, political discussion remains relatively vibrant on social media.
Many critics of the 22 May coup have taken to Facebook and Twitter to circulate images poking fun at Gen. Prayuth and some of his controversial statements.
The junta has sought to suppress anti-coup dissent on social media in the past by briefly blocking Facebook and encouraging citizens to report anti-coup activity on social media for 500 baht rewards.
"I am pleading Internet users to help build a quality online society and eliminate any act that distorts facts, defames, creates division and hatred, or misleads the public," Col. Winthai said.
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