Thai Digital Minister Proposes Shutting Down Facebook Due to Scam Ads

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Thailand Proposes Shutting Down Facebook Due to Scam Ads
Stock Image. (Photo: Freepik)

Thailand’s Digital Economy and Society Minister Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn is keen on seeking a court date later this month, to submit a proposal to shut down Facebook services due to the social media platform’s inability to block fraudulent advertisements.

During a press conference on Monday, Mr. Chaiwut explained that the Ministry has attempted to reach out to Facebook, to assist in blocking deceitful advertisements which harm residents, but has received no response from the platform so far.

Hence, the Minister has planned to approach the court by the end of this month to shut down Facebook’s services within seven days as it doesn’t screen and verify people who buy advertising space on the platform.

The scam advertisements which have been alerted to the government include invitations to investment projects which promise unrealistic high profits and utilize well-known people or successful investors as a reference. Sometimes, these ads illegally use Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission and the Stock Exchange of Thailand’s logo to falsely build trust, among other things.

According to the Minister, over 200,000 residents of Thailand have fallen victim to these deceptive advertisements, causing over THB 100 billion in damages.

In recent times, Facebook has also lost traction amongst political leaders in the region as other alternatives have emerged, ensuring more freedom of speech and seemingly fewer consequences.

Earlier this year, Cambodia’s now-former Prime Minister, Hun Sen, deleted his Facebook page after Meta’s oversight board threatened him with a six-month ban for inciting violence in a video where he threatened to have his opponents beaten up.

Hun Sen then moved to Telegram, claiming that it was a “more effective” platform for reaching the masses. In his message to his 855,000 subscribers on Telegram, he wrote in Khmer, “I have decided to stop using Facebook, on which I have more than 14 million followers. I have requested my assistant to delete my Facebook account immediately. And I will also inform the company to delete my name from Facebook.”