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Thai army denies using Twitter accounts for information operations

THE Thai army denied using almost a thousand Twitter accounts for alleged information operations against political opposition figures which the giant microblogging and social networking service cited as the reason for blocking them, Amarin TV reported this afternoon (Oct. 9, 2020).

In its blog post Twitter said the following:

“Investigation uncovered a network of accounts partaking in information operations that we can reliably link to the Royal Thai Army (RTA). These accounts were engaging in amplifying pro-RTA and pro-government content, as well as engaging in behavior targeting prominent political opposition figures.

 “We are disclosing 926 accounts today and continue to enforce against small-scale activity associated with this network, as we identify it.”

 Lt. Gen. Santiphong Thampiya, deputy chief of staff and army spokesman, clarified that the army used all social media platforms to promote its work, especially helping the people during disasters particularly those triggered by powerful storms.

 In denying that the army used the blocked Twitter accounts in the alleged manner, Lt. Gen. Santiphong mentioned that a review of these accounts would be undertaken but he was uncertain how much could be verified.

The Thai army’s Twitter account was only used to promote army work with its public relations centre overseeing the use of social media, he said, adding that this unit and all others going all the way down to division and battalion level units were directly controlled by the army and responsibilities were clearly stated.

He confirmed that the army did not have a policy to create Twitter avatars for information operations.


 Top: Lt. Gen. Santiphong, right, and a mobile phone user opening a Twitter account, left. Thai headline says, “No Twitter IO (information operations). Photo: Amarin TV

TNR staff
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