My Blog the Thai Government Doesn’t Want you to See

My Blog the Thai Government Doesn’t Want you to See

monk

I have been promoting Thailand on the Internet for the past 15 years. I think I have been respectful about what I have written about. I know the limitations as far as the law goes. There are certain subjects I will not touch, mainly because of the lese majeste law. Also, unlike some bloggers, I don’t try to make a quick buck by writing about the Thai sex industry. My stories are more concentrated on Thai culture, history, religion, etc. The kind of topics that you can discuss with friends whether they are expats or Thais.

One of my recent blogs was called “The monk and the Victoria Secret Collection”. At that time there was a picture of a famous monk that was being circulated widely on social media. It was the above picture but angel wings had been photoshopped onto the picture. Many Thais thought it was real and were criticizing the monk on Facebook. However, it looked fake to me and a quick reverse google search found the original picture above. Obviously someone at the Ministry of Information and Communication didn’t like my blog as they decided to block it inside Thailand. I guess I should be thankful they blocked this one post and not my entire website.

blocked

I think they really misunderstood my blog. I wasn’t spreading misinformation. I was correcting a mistake by showing the original picture with the photoshopped version. I won’t post again the photoshopped picture here, but I will paste below the text just in case you can’t click through to the blog and you are wondering what I wrote:

The above two images have been circulating on Facebook for the last week or so. It shows what I believe is the abbot of the controversial Wat Phra Dhammakaya dressed as an angel from the Victoria Secret collection. Quite a few Thais frown upon this temple for their extravaganza and big budget productions. Which is why the above picture was shared so much on Facebook. But, is it real? A quick search using google image search and I found the original image below. As you can see, it was photoshopped. Don’t believe everything you see on Facebook.

Do you agree that I was unfairly blocked? Even if I wasn’t, do you think it is the job of the MICT to block websites with pictures like this? Where should they be allowed to draw the line?

73 thoughts on “My Blog the Thai Government Doesn’t Want you to See

  1. Its embarrassing behaviour and just highlights the ridiculousness of Thailand and what seems to be a nationwide inability to accept any criticism. What these buffoons don’t realise is the more you try and censor the internet the more it will come back to bite you. The woeful standard of English comprehension in Thailand means the person who was responsible for censoring foreign language media probably didn’t even know what he/she/it was even censoring.

    1. embarrassing behaviour
      ridiculousness
      buffoons
      he/she/it

      Those of us who live in Thailand get a little tired of those who seem to think they’re still living in an age when someone’s skin tone gave them license to escape the dismal, second-rate countries of their birth and come to Thailand throwing about childish comments describing people as “it,” or “buffoons.”

      “…didn’t even know what he/she/it was even censoring.”

      Apparently he or she even knew it was even a photo that wasn’t considered even respectful even and she or he wasn’t the least bit worried about what some sod-all opinionated, pukka-sahib-wanna-be, economic refugee thought about it.

  2. It is simply ridiculous what the MICT is doing. If parent keep away everything from a child they believe could harm it, then chances are big the child will find access to it and being totally unprepared they will do harm then. But if parents educate their child to know good from wrong, then they don’t need to hide things anymore because the child can understand. MICT is just like such an over-protecting parent, trying to hide everything they believe could harm Thai people. And of course they cannot block everything (then would have to do a whitelist instead of a blacklist), nor cannot block social media like facebook at all, it is a stupid fight against windmill which only harms innocent bystanders – just like your blog post. Probably one of the many bureaucrats simply go the task of adding every website to the blacklist which shows the photoshopped pic, and since such stupid work won’t be done by any of the well-educated higher bureaucrats they did not understand a word of what you had written.

    MICT would have much more useful things to do to protect internet in Thailand, like educate webmasters on how to protect their website being hacked and spreading malware, how to make forums on their website more safe to keep them from being full of spam postings linking to all websites which MICT would have added to their blacklist if only they ever noticed it…

  3. Everyday scores of government employees – particularly at the Ministry Of Communications and Technology – are engaged in censoring information and news about Thailand that they deem inappropriate and detrimental to the interests of this fine country. They block URLs – they temporarily block Facebook users – and users of other social networking sites – from uploading images and video that they fear may go viral and ultimately discredit Thailand.

    1. @Peter M.
      I noticed a hint of sarcasm in one of your sentences lol.

      Back on topic, though, who cares about this pretentious country? Can someone please remind me how long have they claimed to be a developing country, when other places like South Korea has already surpassed them by a huge margin?

      Maybe I should start looking into how Burma is, in the meantime. Pretty sure they too will surpass Thailand within the next decade, or less.

      1. I do care about this country because this is my country, but yet, I need to admit that my country is pretentious. My country will be surpassed by many countries.

  4. You say Richard:” I guess I should be thankful they blocked this one post and not my entire website.” This suggests they’re continually monitoring and watching your site for ‘inappropriate content’.

    1. I have had whole sites blocked before by mistake. They blocked all websites on a particular server rather than the one website that they were targeting. I had to sign up for a VPN at one stage as I couldn’t get into my server control panel or even some of my e-commerce sites. Very difficult to do online business in Thailand.

  5. How typical… and sad. They (MICT) can’t even read the English to understand what you meant. That’s not censorship, imho it’s utter stupidity. Lower on the list of education and freedom of speech Thailand will be.
    Instead they should actually block all the really bad “soaps” some of which are shown early on TV and which promote violence, greed and other despicable behavior.

  6. As a Thai, I have to admit that Thais really value reputation and honor. The government and the agencies always block pages and blogs that they think can harm the reputation of Thailand. I really want to apologize to you all for the ignorance and inability of Thais to accept the truth and criticisms. We are too nationalistic and we will probably be like this forever. And yes, like the previous comment, the people who blocked your block don”t even understand anything. And guess what, we also don’t admit that our English skills are so low and don’t understand that the more we try and censor the internet the more it will come back to bite us. (from Leeshaad). But please forgive Thais’ ignorance T^T

    1. It is not reputation but all about money.
      A lot of Thais believe this monk and pay good money to the temple.
      You can search from google to see that his temple is very big.
      And you know this monk just loves to buff. He said talked to Steve Jobs after life.
      He said Steve Jobs are now fine being a kind of giants in the underworld.
      Before that he said he could splash the nuclear bomb not to fall in Thailand.
      That’s the reason why there are many Photoshops of him.
      Well, he might be richer than Steve Jobs. Who knows?
      You can see the recent news about another monk whom I never heard of his name before. He is just a nonamed monk that holding a LV purge, wearing raybay sunglasses, bose headphone in his private jet.
      Of course he has secret wifes and kids.

      Thais’ education are poor. But you might wonder why we usually got a gold medal in all Olympic science competitions.
      Yes, and where are all those gold medal kids gone?

      And with this kind of military general& government, the country is growing in a speed of turtle. I am also wondering why Thai baht is 30 baht per dollar. Why is it worth that much?
      It should have been like 300 baht per dollar.

      1. I have to argue. As a Thai, Thais’ education is not poor, but the education system itself is poor. Thais got those Olympic medals because “we” are “forced” to memorize things. If Thailand wants to become a developed country, it needs to reform its system. Thai teachers must start teaching how to think critically. Since we were born, we have been bombarded with tons of propaganda and given no sacred knowledge apart from academical knowledge that is needed to be used in competitions and tests. Btw, are you a Thai, if you are, I also am. And if you are, I’m pretty happy that at least one more Thai is enlightened.

  7. So sorry to hear that. It is very embarrassing. Thank you for all good things you wrote and learnt about Thailand. I, as a Thai people, really appreciate those and really hope that some Thai people didn’t make you hate my country yet. There are different kind of people in Thailand as same as the rest of the world.

    Thank you, and Sorry,
    best regard,
    one Thai girl

  8. a deep sigh is an appropriate response, in a nation where Hitler is seen as a cartoon character you cannot expect them to have read 1984 and have an appreciation of its message. i watch far too much television both thai and farang and the monitoring is hopeless, pixilated breasts in one movie and yet fairly graphic sex in another all on a normal afternoon in thailand. education, education, education.

  9. Not surprising in the least. And who knows maybe a bit of tea money exchanged hands so your blog got blocked would not be to far fetched as it is Thailand. What I would have liked to see was the shopped and the original picture side by side.

  10. i’m So Sorry For You.. These People Are Kind Of… Well In Thai..MICT Just Don’t Want This To Spread All Around… And Preventing These From The Other– [ Well..Other Country ]
    But..Cause I’m One Of Thai Kid’s I must Say so sorry For You Very Sorry And Thank’s For All Support You Made!! THX!! ^.^ [ Well. I Must Say This Monk Are… *BEEP* ]

  11. @A_H

    Please dont compare our country with north korea just because one page was block by one tiny group of Thai call “MICT”. As Thai, I admit they’re lame and not only me or you think like this,the whole country does. But, it does’nt mean we all Thai ppl are all like them.

    1. Rather than apologizing for your fellow countrymen (which, apparently, is what you all have been posting in this article), maybe you and your people should work together to reform your oppressive ministry instead?

      1. You should try to understand, as a normal Thai citizen, all I can do is to apologize. In Thailand, if one doesn’t have nepotism, one will never be powerful enough to reform or just even a little change won’t even occur. And that’s how things work in Thailand. Sophisticated Thais always try to change this society, but that won’t happen easily. Although Thailand is a “constitutional monarchy” and has a democratic parliamentary system of government, from my point of view, my country is controlled by dictators. Although Thais should have the freedom of speech and the press, in reality, Thais don’t. All enlightened Thais would love to change the country. So all I can do is just saying sorry to all of you. Please don’t ignore scandals the government has done, instead please help us think of a way to enlighten other Thais and liberate Thais from the cycle of poverty and blindness because now Thais are fettered in that cycle by money and ignorance.

      2. @Cicero
        You should try to understand, as a normal Thai citizen, all I can do is to apologize. In Thailand, if one doesn’t have nepotism, one will never be powerful enough to reform or just even a little change won’t even occur. And that’s how things work in Thailand. Sophisticated Thais always try to change this society, but that won’t happen easily. Although Thailand is a “constitutional monarchy” and has a democratic parliamentary system of government, from my point of view, my country is controlled by dictators. Although Thais should have the freedom of speech and the press, in reality, Thais don’t. All enlightened Thais would love to change the country. So all I can do is just saying sorry to all of you. Please don’t ignore scandals the government has done, instead please help us think of a way to enlighten other Thais and liberate Thais from the cycle of poverty and blindness because now Thais are fettered in that cycle by money and ignorance.

      3. I’m european who is living in Thailand. If You think (so lame thinking), that is possible for ANY COUNTRY in the world to change ministry and goverment, than u’re an IDIOT or u’re pretty young and without any life experience. Many countries in the world keep good hiding about their dirty laundry. Thailand is one of the most exotic places in the world. Airport by size in BKK is one of the 3 most largest airports. Their harbour is biggest harbour in the world. Offcourse all is about money. But yes, they still have freedome to live as they want. But u have to be openminded to see that and accept that. In Europe, everything is about politics, power, money and corruption. But they all wear expencive suites, driving BENZ’s for half milion euros (u can feed 30km radius in BKK poor people with one of this amounts), while they own people dont have job and living as low life citizens in their own countries. So talking about Thailand is insult. I know they are not educated, i know they didnt read the blog, but its same same in every country.

        1. Its interesting that you use an example of people in Europe driving Benzs that cost half million euros. Mercedes cars don’t cost half million euros in Europe, however due to the ridiculous import taxes they do in Thailand. Perhaps you were referring to the rich Thais that spend half a million euros on a car instead of feeding 30 km radius of their own poor people?

  12. even thai people feel hopeless about how MICT works

    I think, because your head article too extreme so you attract their attention., and I think they never read your information… only the headline is enough for them to block it….

    MICT always sensitive about negative article relate King, religion, thai history
    they block porn site too… but don’t know about politics…

    so if you use right word for headline may help you out? still not sure…

    but that monk in your pic, is he that Alien cult? Buddha’s precepts cult? (ธรรมกายใช่ไหม?)

    if it is, he has many believers and got many anti too…about fancy pic of him one is real (fancy parade and stuffs) and some are photoshop from antis.

    the believers always believe he can do miracles and help them go to nirvana.

    Anti always believe he isn’t a monk , and call him and his cult “Alien”

    about religion topic relate if you study more about thai people do or believe sometime we can make you shout “are you crazy?”

    this religion topic is sensitive so it easy to attract drama too…

    if you not bad mouth about king, religion and nation.
    don’t mind about MICT action…

  13. It was blocked because you insulted Thai people by saying that many Thais thought the photoshopped picture was real. You deserved it.

    1. Hey, if it’s real, you should accept that dude. I’m Thai.. nowadays Thai people have a inverse logic. What wrong is they have never accept that for a long time. They just push what they are wrong to other that point to it. It’s not insulted, but it’s just a something that is FACT. You can’t run away from fact okay.. and I think not only Thai people or all Thai people that think that everything on the internet is real. One of them is me.

    2. Well, from your post, I think Thai people should learn to accept the truth. They should open their eyes to see what is REAL in Thailand. If MICT blocked it because of the reason you said, well, one more reason for me to feel hopeless for the future of Thais.
      I’m Thai = =

    3. But many Thais did think it was real. Don’t blame Richard for stating the fact that so many Thai people were fooled by the photoshopped picture.

  14. ดูจากภาพ ลักษณะการใส่จีวรของท่าน ก็ไม่ถูกต้องตามหลัก ดูไม่เหมาะสมอยู่แล้ว .. ท่านก็ยังกล้าเผชิญออกสู่สายตาชาวโลกได้อีก

  15. Totally agree. Thais can’t accept criticism even though it’s very real in the society. It’s a bit of double standard though. One monk charge for fraudulent and wrong teaching …. , another monk is no where different.

  16. I’d say it’s unfair for you. I think now one of Thais problem is they don’t read. They just see the picture and imagining things the way they want it to be no matter how many people try to explain what really happen. In the end, they would blame it on the person who first post the picture and said that they didn’t do it clear enough.

    I’m Thai by the way. And I felt bad that this issue happened to you.

  17. Hi Richard,

    Before you critic Buddhist monks, have you studied Buddhism? The Lord Buddha says do not jugdge people or things if you dont know them well enough. If you undertstand buddhist concepts, laypeople or common people are not allowed to judge the monks. Why? are we good enough to judge them. Everyone thinks monks should live a simple life. Looking back to 2500 years ago, many Billionaires offer to build the luxurious temples to the Lord Buddha. Also, in Buddhist culture, we are always willing to offer the best things to the monks even food or cloths (referring to the fabric) and this has been repeated since the Lord Buddha was alive. Monks DESERVE to receive or to be offered to best thing according to what the Lord Buddha said.

    1. You obviously didn’t read my blog too. I was protecting the monk’s honour as people were trying to make him look bad by photoshopping his picture. I wrote a blog pointing out that the picture was a fake and that you shouldn’t believe everything you see or read on the internet.

    2. Monks don’t deserve anything, because they don’t do anything. They beg for food so they dont have to do an honest days work and then spend the rest of the day sat around chanting nice poems. Go to bed, and then get up in the morning expecting the next day’s handouts. They are a parasite that sucks on the misguided goodwill of the poor and ignorant.

  18. That temple, by Thai referred to as the UFO Temple, is one massive “scam!” It filters money from a lot of rich business peoples donations. Basically if you donate to a Temple you can offset that for Tax reasons. You get my point? During the financial crises in 1997 this temple collected so many donations! Maybe they should be investigating this temple for fraud and money laundering.

  19. You expected too much and failed to underestimated the Thai government!

    Thai MP’s and ministers cannot read English and never read anything even Thai, they just use their lack of common sense to judge!

    Especially the PM , she just reads a script and the ex deputy PM, he’s just drunk!

  20. “Don’t believe everything you see on Facebook”

    I think this should be “Don’t believe anything you see on Facebook”

  21. I’m sorry that you were blocked by MICT. They’re just being ridiculous. However, I don’t think some Thais dislike Dhammakaya because of that photoshopped picture. It’s because they’re fraud. All they want is money. That’s not Buddhist. I don’t even consider them as monks.

  22. @Cicero
    You should try to understand, as a normal Thai citizen, all I can do is to apologize. In Thailand, if one doesn’t have nepotism, one will never be powerful enough to reform or just even a little change won’t even occur. And that’s how things work in Thailand. Sophisticated Thais always try to change this society, but that won’t happen easily. Although Thailand is a “constitutional monarchy” and has a democratic parliamentary system of government, from my point of view, my country is controlled by dictators. Although Thais should have the freedom of speech and the press, in reality, Thais don’t. All enlightened Thais would love to change the country. So all I can do is just saying sorry to all of you. Please don’t ignore scandals the government has done, instead please help us think of a way to enlighten other Thais and liberate Thais from the cycle of poverty and blindness because now Thais are fettered in that cycle by money and ignorance.

  23. You know what. Dhammakaya distorts true Buddhism. But we cannot eliminate this moron doctrine because Money made them strong. Even our previous cheating PM Taksin also supports Dhammakaya because they teach that money will make you happy in afterlife. hahaha pitiful Thailand.

  24. Sir,  I salute you and stand back in amazement at your obvious bull dog tenacity , any mere mortal attempting to cover the daily going’s on in the land of smile as you so eloquently do, would have by now surely succumbed to bouts of raging depression and the burning need to seek perpetual solace in the bottom of a whisky glass . I can only scratch my head and ask my self how this man copes with the continuing daily barrage of negative issues that plague Thai society, that have been regurgitating year after year . It must be a difficult situation for any one to be a reporter of Thai affairs , the daily dripping tap of corruption , the ever over flowing bowl of me first actions and deeds carried out in a country that has no consequences . So again Sir , I lift my glass high and propose a toast to a man who must have what my dear old grandma called iron cast goolies .

    Robert T. Snow

  25. Khun Rick, Because those PT men are the staunch disciples of Dammajaiyo, so any critical articles about Dhammajaiyo will be blocked … including the case of Botox face of Dhammajaiyo, the case of walking on the rose petals, not to mention about the evil pasts of Dhammajaiyo which too long to mention here …

  26. Richard,
    You do not understand why people criticized the monk in the photoshopped picture. Do yourself a favor– do more research if you want to write blogs for your living.

    Try a blog titled “The Priest and the Victoria Secret Collection,” or “Jesus and the Victoria Secret Collection,” or “Muhammad and the Victoria Secret Collection” and see what happens. Use your sense and stop pretending…

    1. Well, I am sure there have been more than a few blogs on dirty paedophile priests in the last few years. What exactly happened when they were published?

      As for your other two examples, you are attempting to compare this bald scavenger with the central figures of the two largest religions. Hardly like for like.

        1. My point is that writing a blog about priests wouldn’t cause any uproar like you were insinuating when you wrote ‘see what happens’ and your other two examples comparing this fraud with the two main icons of the two largest religions was an incredibly poor and inaccurate comparison.

  27. This is simple, they blocked the page because it had a link to the image. They don’t really care about the page, only want to make the image unavailable within Thailand. While I don’t necessarily agree, it makes sense. Censorship does exist, for good or bad reasons. Complaints about it are railing against a particular cultural mindset, from another particular cultural mindset. There won’t be any resolution to this, but is a culture clash.

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