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In Thailand, Google deleted two maps identifying royal critics | Business and Economic News

A royalist activist and volunteer produced a map with the names and addresses of royal critics to report to the police.

The technology company said that Google removed two Google Maps documents on Monday, which listed the names and addresses of hundreds of Thai activists accused by the royalists of opposing the monarchy.

Songklod “Pukem” Chuenchoopol, a royalist activist in Thailand, told Reuters that he and a team of 80 volunteers produced the maps and planned to report everyone on the map to the police, accusing them of insulting the monarchy.

A spokesperson for Alphabet’s Google stated in an email that “this issue has now been resolved” and pointed out: “We have a clear policy on what is acceptable for user-generated “My Maps” content. We have removed any violations User-generated map.”

A version of one of the maps seen by Reuters included the names and addresses of nearly 500 people, many of them students, and photos of them wearing college or high school uniforms. It has received more than 350,000 views.

The faces of those named are covered by black squares, the number 112, which refers to a clause in the country’s criminal law, which stipulates that insults or defamation of the monarchy are punishable by up to 15 years’ imprisonment.

When Reuters tried to open them later on Monday, both maps were inaccessible.

Songklod said that he and the team of volunteers tried to highlight those they accused of violating the law.

“When each of us sees something offensive on social media, we put it on the map,” he said. Songklod describes it as a “psychological” war action, whose purpose is to discourage people from criticizing the monarchy online.

The youth-led protests that began last year raised unprecedented criticisms of the monarchy and called for reforms on the streets and online.

The government did not immediately respond to comments regarding the removal of Google Maps or the content it contains.

The 54-year-old retired army captain and well-known right-wing activist said that despite the removal of the map, he believes that the operation against opponents of the monarchy has been a “great success”.

The royalist activist said that the content comes from public research.

Critics of human rights groups and the agency say that these maps include the private data and addresses of hundreds of people, which may put them at risk of violence.

“I started receiving panic messages from young Thais who were scolded in a royalist document on Google Maps, accusing them of anti-monarchy,” Scottish monarchy critic Andrew McGregor Marshall (Andrew McGregor) MacGregor Marshall) said. Highlight the presence of the map.

“It is clear that young Thais who only want democracy are facing increasing risks.”



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