As a sign that it does not really get the internet, Thailand’s military junta has decided to set up its own social networking site.
The military seized power in May and has not been particularly popular. This might have something to do with the fact that every time you call for elections, soldiers show up and arrest you.
It has been a lot harder for the military to shut its population up when they post on Facebook. So the Junta has decided to create a patriotic, easy-to-censor Facebook rival of its own design.
Dubbed “Thailand Social Network” the social notwork will be out in two months.
Then this site will have to compete with Facebook which has more than 24 million Thai users. That amounts to one third of the population.
Facebook also has more money and resources than the Junta. Facebook’s market capital is $162 billion while the annual output of Thailand’s capital Bangkok, an estimated $105 billion.
The junta is also not dumb enough to shut Facebook down. When it did that in May the ban only lasted for an hour. Thais were more upset about the Facebook closure than the junta’s late-night detainments or its shredding of the constitution. The army was so overwhelmed with complaints that it had to promise it will never totally block Facebook — just individual pages deemed subversive.
Humanity really has hit a low point when social networking is considered more important than human rights and a state constitution. Still not many people expect a military run Facebook to work very well.