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Thailand Wants Tech Firms to Set Up Centers Against Fake News

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BANGKOK – Thailand is proposing that tech companies set up centers in each of the 10 ASEAN countries to curb the flow of “fake news” and fake accounts..

Such centers would also work as a shortcut for governments to flag misinformation more easily. Providers of over-the-top (OTT) service – any digital service done through the internet, including social media – could comply by taking it down faster, the Thai regulator said.

“Thailand has proposed that OTT companies set up a center to verify news,” said Takorn Tantasith, secretary-general of Thailand’s National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission.

“We asked if it was possible that the companies authorize each country to oversee such centers and in so doing co-operate directly with them,” Takorn said after a meeting with tech companies earlier on Monday, adding that the companies would have to finance such operations.

The proposal came as telecoms regulators from the 10 ASEAN countries were meeting this week in Bangkok. With an aim to come up with regional guidelines to regulate OTT platforms, including taxation policies.

The meeting with Takorn on Monday was attended by tech giants including Facebook, messaging app operator Line Corp, Amazon and Netflix, he said.

ASEAN Telecommunications Regulators Council for Fake News

The proposal would be discussed further during the ASEAN Telecommunications Regulators Council (ATRC) this week, he added.

Takorn said the “coordination and verification centers” would also support a plan by Thailand’s new digital minister. To prioritize anti-fake news efforts and regulate various kinds of content on websites and social media.

Digital Minister Puttipong Punnakanta said in a Facebook post last month that he would set up a “fake news center’s.”

The centers would take down online content from child pornography, in addition to tackling “fake news” and “fake accounts.”

In another Facebook post, Puttipong said he “volunteered to purge content hurtful to Thais. Digital media should be clean”.

Other Asean governments have also recently made efforts to exert more control over online content. Taking a tough stance against misinformation aka Fake News.

Singapore passed an anti-fake news bill in May. Forcing online media platforms to correct or remove content the government considers to be false.

Vietnam said its cybersecurity law, which was passed last year and banned posting anti-government information online.

Source: Reuters