new round of “Media War” by gov is announced
When the mainstream pushes society all one way, we see that it’s wrong and
we suggest, from the pro-democracy side, that the truth is something else
– Somsak Phakdidej (from “Thai E-News” )
‘International cyber conflict has reached a tipping point
where it is no longer just a theory but a significant threat‘
– from “Virtually here: The age of cyber warfare” McAfee
(Fifth AnnualMcAfee Virtual Criminology Report, 2009)
Looks like we’re in the midst of new round of “Media war” by Thai gov. and loyal to it local Thai MSM
Last year after events of “Black Songkran“ events, success in which for government was largely due to smart usage of Media, government has continued to secure that victory and has fully unleashed power of its Propaganda machine and let MICT to go on rampage (several people were arrested due to such MICT’s zeal)
Then “Red-shirts” (UDD / DAAD) have belatedly attempted to counteract that onslaught with their own alternative info-campaign, which apparently was quite successful too that In fact, Abhisit’s administration (and all those “behind the curtains players” – military and other “amartayathipatthai“) were so alarmed and afraid to lose the battle, that they have OFFICIALLY announced “Media War“, with that exact phrase used :
“The government will launch a publicity campaign at home and abroad to counter the propaganda of the red shirts, PM’s Office Minister Satit Wongnongtaey said on Tuesday. The media war will be designed to counter the smear campaign of the red shirts and explain the true situation to the international community,” he said.
now in the wake of potential new unrest by “Red-shirts” gov. apparently proactively launches new round of the “Media War“, only this time not using this exact phrase, yet nevertheless using a lot of clever tricks and fallacies :
To prevent the red shirts from inciting public unrest by distorting the fact surrounding the Thaksin asset seizure case, and the double standards allegation, the government will stage a campaign through state media to explain the fact in connection to the issues. A variety of radio and television progrommes such as scoops and seminars on Thaksin’s assets seizure case and other cases cited by the red shirts will be presented to the public starting 8-25, PM’s Office Minister [again Satit i guess 😉 ] said on Wednesday.
The move came after the red shirts unveiled their tight itinerary rally plan this month to mobilise support and protest against the government and state independent agencies such as the Election Commission and the National Counter Corruption Commission. Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva urged the public not to fall victims to people who want to incite public unrest and not to panic and screen information before believing it. “Many times speculations and prediction they make did not turn out to be true. So do not be taken in by what they say,” he said. Abhisit believed the red shirt movement would be intense before the court ruling. “I cannot tell if the situation will subside sooner or later after the verdict,” he said.
(see here more complete list of fallacies and exercise : try and see how many fallacies you might find in gov. Propaganda and Thaia Media – especially Nation ! 😀 )
Well, I think the correct translation of this provided reason (“To prevent the red shirts from inciting public unrest by distorting the fact“) would be rather something like :
“To prevent make sure that whatever attempts of the red shirts to counteract continuing GIGANTIC GOVERNMENT TOTAL PROPAGANDA and doubles standards it employs, from inciting public unrest by distorting the fact which naturally cause more and more social dissatisfaction and thus protests by opposition – Government has decided to RE-LAUNCH its ‘Media war‘ “
or something like that.
because I mean – word “prevent” doesn’t apply here at all, because anyway a lot of people are already increasingly aware and know what is what. thefore the more “official truths“ are presented (or especially when they are so blatantly and ferociously imposed and impregnate people’s brains – that even OFFICIAL campaigns are launched and announced !), then the more people would be suspicious of them and instead seek REAL facts, dig deeper to find out the truth – because they know that usually when it comes to such “official truths” – one must do sort of full inverse (as function in Adobe Photoshop 🙂 )
Opposition is not idle this time around either, read this Prachatai article (is sort of review of Red-shirts’ blog called “Thai E-News” ) :
Thai E-News was born in silence, lives in mystery and does not know how mass media circles will define it. Maybe as ‘fake media’, ‘a tool of politicians’, or ‘an example of using media to start a political war’. Known as an alternative site that posts news that no one puts on normal blogs, it gets more than 40,000 clicks a day.
“… if you say we use propaganda on one side to fight the other side, that could be true. When the mainstream pushes society all one way, we see that it’s wrong and we suggest, from the pro-democracy side, that the truth is something else. If you call that propaganda, we have to admit that we have to do this.’ – Somsak Phakdidej, one of the founders…
Most readers, 45%, are from Bangkok, 10% from overseas and 35% from upcountry. A survey of the webpage at the time of the petition found that 75% wanted amendments to the constitution and only 2% approved of the amnesty petition for Thaksin. ‘We believe that people are going beyond Thaksin, at least people who read Thai E-News.’ Somsak says that they’ve kept statistics since the beginning, and between April 2007 and now, Thai E-News has averaged 40,000 hits a day, rising to 100,000 at hot times.
‘If the situation returned to normal, we had democracy and the media did its job, then I don’t know what the counter-current would be counter to. ‘But these times may be the worst for freedom. People have been arrested on many charges. ‘Today I should say who I am and what I think, but I can’t.’
I think it is also necessary to mention that this “campaign” actually has never stopped ever since last Arpil 2009 (“Black Songkran“) – in fact gov., army and Thai Media increased and enhance their methods and tactics, improved and enlarged them. last year after Songkran Red-shirts (and many others who oppose Abhisit’s gov and the “amartayathipatthai” in general) has called for citizen-activists to help conduct info-warfare on line to be so called “cyber–warriors” (I guess they have learned that either from PAD or even from army itself). the concept of cyber-warfare (read: Virtually here: The age of cyber warfare , original McAfee article here) most likely imported from abroad, and apparently started by Israel (read here, here, here, here, here).
so, here is one of the latest news on this matter : Army moves forward on the cyber front (it includes few videos there too)
The Defence Minister has ordered all military units to monitor … cyber space … But months before this order, Provincial Army ROTC Training Centre 33, based in Chiang Mai, had already had high school students … recently set up a web service for any citizen to report offensive websites… In mid 2009, Provincial Army ROTC Training Centre 33 (ROTC 33) had a contingent of high-school students undergoing compulsory military training record video clips posted at YouTube… Recently, ROTC 33 set up a web page for the purpose of monitoring websites… The web page, officially claimed to be developed by students of the elitist Montfort College in Chiang Mai, provides fields for visitors to report websites… According to the web page, as of 16 Jan 2010, 234 loyal websites have been reported, and 176 offensive websites of which 24 have already been rebutted…
well, army and gov. obviously take it quite seriously and already quite for a while. no wonder, since this cyber activity is growing all over the wolrd :
“We have seen an increase in the use of cyber warfare by states in recent years and are aware
of the development of offensive cyber weapons capability by a growing number of states.”
– Crispin Blunt, Shadow Minister for Home Affairs and Counter Terrorism
so, Thailand (especially its military) is naturally not a stranger to this newest tactic, and we can see it is being quite actively employed by both sides (gov. and its opposition). although of course this Media war (including cyber warfare) is very much unequal, since undoubtedly army, gov. and those who back it have almost unlimited resources, unlike opposition.