Google removes map targeting hundreds of Thais accused of opposition king

File Photo: On May 8, 2019, a sign is drawn outside the Google office near our headquarters in Mountain View, California, USA. REUTERS / Paresh Dave

June 28, 2021

By Fanny Potkin and Panu Wongcha-um

Singapore / Bangkok (Reuters) – Google deleted two Google Maps documents on Monday containing the names and addresses of hundreds of Thai activists accused by the royal family of opposition to the monarchy, the technology company said. ..

Thai royalist activist Songklod “Pukem” Chuenchoopol told Reuters that he and a team of 80 volunteers would map and report to police that they had insulted the monarchy.

A Google spokeswoman for Alphabet said in an email that the company had removed the map, adding that “there is a clear policy on what will be accepted for user-created My Maps content.”

One version of the map Reuters saw contained the names and addresses of nearly 500 people, many of whom were students, including photographs in college and high school uniforms. It was viewed more than 350,000 times.

The faces of the nominated people were covered with a black square with number 112, referring to an article under national criminal law that insults or defames the monarchy up to 15 years in prison. It was.

Songklod said he and a team of 80 volunteers tried to highlight those who were accused of violating the law.

“When each of us sees something offensive on social media, we put it on a map,” he said.

The youth-led protests that began last year have led to unprecedented criticism of the monarchy, calling for reforms both on the street and online.

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

Retired Army captain and prominent right-wing activist Sonkurod, 54, said the operation targeting opponents of the monarchy was considered a “great success” despite the map being removed. It was.

Royal activists said their content came from public research.

Critics of human rights groups and founders said the map contained personal data and addresses of hundreds of people and could be at risk of violence.

Andrew MacGregor Marshall, a Scottish-based monarchy critic and one of the earliest, said: Emphasize the existence of the map.

“It is clear that Thai youth who want democracy are at risk of worsening.”

(Report by Fanny Potkin in Singapore and Panu Wongcha-um in Bangkok, additional report by Jessie Pang, edited by Matthew Tostevin and Alison Williams)

Google removes map targeting hundreds of Thais accused of opposition king

Source link Google removes map targeting hundreds of Thais accused of opposition king

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