Between May 25th and June 4th, police have arrested a total of nine people concerning spreading fake news about the coronavirus online in what some may consider as an impeachment on freedom of speech.
The announcement of the arrests was made by Pol Maj Gen Patana Nuchnarod of the Narcotics Suppression Bureau (NSB) in cooperation with the Anti-Fake News Center.
Of the nine people arrested, three have been prosecuted for violating the emergency decree while the remaining six were given a warning and ordered to delete the posts they had sent online.
One of the posts that led to prosecution stated that a woman who had tested positive for coronavirus fainted while shopping in a mall in Rayong province.
Police say the story spread fear among the public and made the covid-19 situation in Thailand look worse than it is, causing further panic.
Other posts leading to prosecution included solutions to protecting yourself against the coronavirus such as taking ginger and garlic to ensure one does not catch the virus.
Posts that were ordered for deletion and produced a warning included ones that stated the government was asking citizens to register for the 5,000 baht handout so they could use the information to impose further taxes on the public.
Police have warned that posting or spreading fake information online is dangerous and illegal.
Punishment for violating the Computer Crime Act includes a fine up to 100,000 baht and/or up-to five years in prison.
Those arrested can also be charged with violating the emergency decree which comes with a punishment of a fine up to 40,000 baht and/or up-to two years in prison.
Source: Thai Residents