The Thai police have become Thailand’s fun police today as they warn Songkran revellers against posting photos of scantily clad people, or ‘invitations’ to consume alcohol’… pretty much everything you see during the madness of Songkran festivities in the main tourist hot spots.
“No photos, video clips of live broadcasts of nudity, lewd acts or inviting consumption of alcohol should be published on Thai social media during Songkran.”
Such actions are illegal and punishable with a fine and/or a jail term, the police said yesterday.
Pol Colonel Siriwat Deepor, the deliverer of the fun-suppression warning and deputy commander of the Technology Crime Suppression Division, says that previous Songkran festivals often saw inappropriate photos of young women and ladyboys posted on Thai social media (no mention of inappropriate photos of men).
He urged revellers to mark the Thai traditional New Year with polite cultural activities and refrain from any risky behaviour that could lead to violations of the Computer Act and related laws.
Siriwat explained that if pictures or video clips of Songkran revellers wearing “sexually-provocative clothing” were posted online, those posting or sharing them could be charged with violating the Computer Act and subjected to a maximum five-year jail term and/or a maximum 100,000 baht fine.
Those captured by photographs or video clips could also be charged with performing a shameful act in public by indecently exposing themselves or committing other indecent acts under the Criminal Code’s Section 388, which carries a maximum fine of 500 baht.
But he went on… Social media posts inviting others to drink alcohol was also subject to a maximum one-year jail term and a maximum 500,000 baht fine.
Other indecent posts or live streaming deemed against society’s good morality and the law could also face legal action, Siriwat added.
Police said officers will be monitoring Thai social media closely during Songkran in order to speedily investigate potential violations and prevent other viewers, especially youngsters, from copying indecent behaviour.