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Dispute over whether Facebook ‘likes’ can constitute criminal conspiracy

May 11. 2017
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By WASAMON AUDJARINT
THE NATION

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Many people are unaware that online acts as simple as pressing “like” on a Facebook status could land them in trouble with Thailand’s computer-related crime law.

In one of the most recent cases, a policeman was summoned last week as a witness after his Facebook account left a “like” on a message allegedly defaming a senior police officer.

“We found that you pressed ‘like’ in agreement with that message, an act that increased the credibility of such information,” Pol Major Samrerng Naew-in, an investigating officer at Chonburi Police Station, said in the summons to Pol Sergeant Chakpong Wongchit.

Chakpong’s Facebook account left a “like” on a post with messages and voice records criticising Pol Maj-General Kritsakorn Pleethanyawong, deputy commander of the Provincial Police Region 2. 

As Kritsakorn had filed a defamation complaint against Pol Captain Watcharin Benchanathasawat, who posted the original message, Chakpong was consequently called in as a witness.

The Technology Crime Suppression Division (TCSD) earlier said anyone pressing “like” to a wrongful online status can be guilty as the Criminal Code’s Article 83 punishes a conspirator to a wrongful action. 

“An act of liking a wrongful Facebook status is equal to signing to endorse such an act,” the TCSD said. “While likers may not have the direct intention [on the wrongful act], an act of pressing ‘like’ increases the credibility of such information,” the TCSD said.

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