Thailand’s telecoms regulator has suggested that tech firms open centers across Southeast Asia, to combat regional “fake news”. The agency wants the proposed centers to act as first-warnings for its ten regional neighbors, so that material can be flagged and removed from the Web as quickly as possible.
“Thailand has proposed that OTT companies set up a centre to verify news,” Takorn Tantasith, of the Bangkok-based National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, told Reuters today (OTT, or over-the-top, services, are any platforms delivered online).
He added that the Thai government was in talks to coordinate such an effort with the ten-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), with tech companies footing the bill.
Facebook, Netflix and other content heavyweights attended a meeting with Tantasith, who says that “fake news centers” will help combat anything from child pornography to Thailand’s controversial lese-majeste laws, which prohibit material that offends the country’s monarchy.
That will alert rights groups, in a country whose crackdown on political protest has long slipped into the digital realm. Singapore and Vietnam have already made moves to counter so-called “fake news”, as nations worldwide launch bids to curb protest, anti-government speech and other content in the name of digital safety.