Facebook bans accounts linked to Thai military operations in deep South

BANGKOK (The Nation/ANN): The Thai military’s Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) has again been penalised by Facebook over social media accounts targeting the deep South.

Facebook announced on Wednesday (March 3) it had removed 185 accounts and groups engaged in military propaganda in the insurgency-hit region.

The network comprised 77 accounts, 72 pages and 18 Instagram accounts linked to ISOC. Facebook said the accounts had been deleted for “coordinated inauthentic behaviour (CIB)”.

PM General Prayut Chan-O-Cha, who chairs ISOC, said he had ordered the Defence Ministry to investigate the case.

In February last year, an opposition MP accused ISOC of waging a cyberwar against critics of the government and deep South human rights activists.

MP Viroj Lakkana-adisorn said ISOC-linked social media and websites were spreading fake news “to sow hatred” and division among people.

Facebook said it is now checking all new military-related accounts on Facebook or Instagram.

In October, Twitter banned 926 accounts it linked to the Royal Thai Army last October, accusing them of targeting prominent political opposition figures.

A month later in November, Twitter banned a Thai pro-royalist account for “violating our rules on spam and platform manipulation”.

According to a Reuters investigation, the account was flooding the platform with spam via thousands of recently created followers that did nothing but post its hashtags promoting the monarchy and attacking anti-establishment protests. - The Nation/Asia News Network

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