Submitted on Fri, 2018-01-19 19:35
The junta and the Digital Ministry have denied involvement in the disappearance of a satirical cartoon page mocking the military government.
On 19 January 2018, a day after the disappearance of the Khai Maew Facebook page, Colonel Winthai Suwari, spokesperson of the National Council for Peace and Orders (NCPO), told Voice TV that the NCPO never issued an order to take down the page.
Meanwhile, Wing Commander Somsak Kaosuwan, spokesperson of the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, also told the media that the Ministry is not responsible for monitoring security-related content on Facebook, adding that in fact, this is the duty of Technology Crime Suppression Division
On Thursday, afternoon, Thai netizens noticed that the famous satirical cartoon page had been taken down. The URL redirected users to the message “Sorry, this content isn't available at the moment.”
Since Khai Maew is famous among Thai Facebook users, with over 400,000 followers, various people have posted messages and images mourning its disappearance.
‘You left without saying goodbye. I didn’t have time to prepare my heart.’ (Photo from Basement Karaoke)
We will remember you always (Photo from Quote V2)
No matter where you are, whether it's a quarter mile away, or half-way across the world. You'll always be with me, and you'll always be my brother (Photo from Pixel Crazy 8bit)
Khai Maew was voted the most influential Facebook page of the year 2017, according to an online poll organised by Prachatai.
Khai Maew, literally translated as Cat Balls, shows cartoons parodying Thai politics. The gags are quick responses to hot and controversial issues of the moment. The style resembles that of Joan Cornellà in which the characters do not talk and usually feature in four boxes for the readers to read from left to right and top to bottom.
The regular characters in Khai Meaw include a square-face businessman resembling the exiled PM Thaksin Shinawatra, a soldier with toothbrush moustache representing the junta leader Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha and an uncle with a creepy smile mirroring Suthep Thaugsuban, leader of the anti-election protest in 2014.
The last gag before being blocked was about Somsak Jeamteerasakul, a historian who fled the country to Paris after the 2014 coup to escape prosecution over lèse-majesté cases.