Submitted on Fri, 10 Jun 2016 - 05:04 PM
More bias from the Election Commission has been found on their mobile app that educates people about the draft charter and upcoming referendum vote. The app bans users from sharing their completion certificate if they insert the word “reject [the draft constitution],” and instructs users to “please use polite words.” However, words such as ‘bastard’ and ‘bullshit’ are fair game.
The bias has been found by Internet users. The Election Commission of Thailand (ECT)’s mobile app ‘Understand the Referendum (Smart Info),’ aims to educate people about the content of the junta’s draft charter and the August referendum.
When users finish reading about the draft’s content in the app, a function will automatically pop-up for users to type in their name for a certificate showing that they have already studied the constitution through the app. With a share button appearing at the bottom of the page, it is obvious that the intention is for people to share their certificate on social media.
The app, however, does not allow users to share the certificate with the word ‘reject’ (mai rap), which ot does not allow because it is ‘impolite’. Prachatai wrote other rude words in the blank and found that apart from ‘reject,’ the app also bans the words ‘buffalo’ (khwai) and ‘dick’. However, other rude words such as ‘bullshit’ (to lae), ‘bastard’ (rayam), and ‘son of a bitch’ (chat ma) are allowed.
Somchai Srisuthiyakorn, a member of the ECT, told Prachatai that there had been no reports to him about the issue.
Previously, the ECT has shown bias in favour of the draft charter and has judicially harassed critics of the draft in various ways. For instance, Somchai said that he will sue people involved in the music video which urges the public to turn down the charter draft, citing impolite content. He also sued the fundraiser for an autism rights organization for publishing allegedly rude content against the charter draft.
Latest update: Somchai told Prachatai that after being informed about the issue, he asked the application developers to fix the problem. The edited version will be updated within few days.
“I would like to apologize to those users who may feel uncomfortable about the issue and thank everyone for looking after the problem,” Somchai told Prachatai.
(Left) The certificate reads ‘The ECT presents this certificate to show that [blank space] has politely passed the study of the draft constitution through the Application Smart Info: Understand the Referendum.’ (Right) But if the user fills the blank with the word ‘reject’ (mai rap), the app will not allow the user to share the certificate and a pop-up message reads ‘Sorry, please use polite words.’
The phrase ‘son of a bitch’ (chat ma) is allowed
The word ‘bastard’ (rayam) is allowed