Home / World / Google removes maps targeting hundreds of Thais accused of anti-monarchy

Google removes maps targeting hundreds of Thais accused of anti-monarchy

A sign is pictured outside the Google offices near the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, U.S., May 8, 2019. REUTERS/Paresh Dave

SINGAPORE/BANGKOK, June 28 (Reuters) – Google took away two Google Maps documents on Monday that listed the names and addresses of hundreds of Thai activists accused by royalists of anti-monarchy. said the King, the technology company

Thailand’s royalist activist Songklod “Phum” Chuenchoophol told Reuters he and a team of 80 volunteers had created maps and planned to report anyone named on those maps to police on blasphemy charges. monarchy

A spokesperson for Alphabet’s Google (Google.N) said by email: “The issue has now been resolved,” and noted: “We have a clear policy on what is acceptable for users who create My Maps content. We removed user-generated maps that violate our policies.”

One map seen by Reuters had the names and addresses of nearly 500 people, most of them students. along with a photograph of a university or high school student attire. It has been viewed more than 350,000 times.

The faces of those whose names are shrouded in black squares with the number 112, according to an article under the country’s criminal code, carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison for insulting or insulting the monarchy.

Maps could not be reached when Reuters tried to open it on Monday.

Songklak said he and his team of volunteers tried to highlight those they were accused of breaking the law.

“When each of us sees something disgusting posted on social media. We put it on the map,” he said, describing it as a “psychological” warfare. Songkhla said its goal was to discourage people from criticizing the monarchy online.

The youth-led protests that began last year have sparked unprecedented criticism of the monarchy. and called for reform both on the streets and online.

The government did not immediately respond to comment about the removal of Google Maps or the content it contained.

Songklod, 54, a retired army captain and well-known right-wing activist, said he considered operations aimed at opponents of the monarchy to be “a daunting task”. “A great success” even after the map was removed.

Monarchist activists say the content is based on public research.

Human rights groups and critics of the establishment said The map contained the personal information and addresses of hundreds of people. and may be at risk of violence

“I’m starting to get alarmed messages from young people in Thailand who have been doxxed in documents about the monarchy on Google Maps, accusing them of being against the monarchy,” said Andrew McGregor Marshall, a critic of monarchy. The monarchy in Scotland and one of the first to highlight the existence of the map

“It is clear that young Thai people who want democracy are facing a worsening risk.”

Reporting by Fanny Potkin in Singapore and Panu Wongcha-um in Bangkok, additional reporting by Jessie Pang; Editing by Matthew Tostevin and Alison Williams

Our Standard: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles

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