This webinar explores the increasingly salient trend of digital repression in Thailand and its impact on a protest movement. Drawing on the aftermath of the 2020 anti-establishment protests in Thailand, Assistant Professor Janjira Sombatpoonsiri shows how the interplay between targeted legal repression and digital surveillance has so far decapitated the movement that once defied the monarchy-military-backed regime. Assistant Professor Janjira Sombatpoonsiri argues that this detrimental development results from three main mechanisms vis-à-vis digital repression.
First, multiple charges against not only leading activists but those providing logistics for mass protests have depleted human and financial resources that are usually scant for civic movements. Second, manual and technological monitoring of activists offers the authorities a wealth of data conducive to pre-emptive crowd control and lawsuits. Third, digital surveillance intensifies “self-control” among activists. Not knowing the extent of personal information gathered through spyware and to what end it is used, many have decided to limit their activities. Additionally, Assistant Professor Janjira Sombatpoonsiri sketches a contour of how digital repression has hindered effective mass mobilization by invoking the optic and punitive powers.
Register for the event here.
TIMEZONES: Thursday 12 January 2023
6am PT / 9am ET / 3pm CET / 9pm TST
About the TS4 Series:
Sponsored by the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre (SSEAC), the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) and the New York Southeast Asia Network (NYSEAN), this virtual seminar series brings together social science experts from across the globe to discuss pressing issues facing Thailand.
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SSEAC, NIAS, NYSEAN.