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Twitter launches freedom of expression search prompt in Thailand

By Monrawee Ampolpittayanant

We today announced the expansion of its #ThereIsHelp notification service with a new Freedom of Expression Search Prompt available in Thai language. Partnering with Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (@TLHR2014), iLaw (@iLawFX) and the Lawyers Council Under the Royal Patronage; the notification service will appear whenever people search Thai keywords associated with freedom of expression on Twitter. The prompt will make available hotline numbers of these organizations and links to our local partners to those in need of legal advice or representation related to freedom of expression issues in Thailand.

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Our mission is to serve the public conversation. We believe that freedom of expression and access to a free and #OpenInternet are fundamental human rights. Launching this #ThereIsHelp search prompt is an important step in helping voices that are at risk access the services in Thailand they need. Our collaboration with Thai partners will enable those in need to access important information and resources when and where they need it most.

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According to data from the Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (@TLHR2014), the use of laws against people participating in protests and expressing political opinions is continuously on the rise with at least 635 people (including 40 youths under 18 years old) in 320 cases having been charged for political involvement and expression in the past 9 months (July 2020-April 2021).

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Our partnership with Twitter is timely. In Thailand, 635 people have been charged for political involvement and expression in the past 9 months alone. We have seen an intensified use of laws to silence or harass people for simply expressing their opinion openly or exercising their fundamental freedoms including freedom of peaceful assembly. We have seen issues in many cases around access to the right to bail and a fair trial for those prosecuted by the authorities. We support people’s right to voice their opinions and recognise the importance of freedom of expression. We look forward to extending our real-time support for those in need of legal advice while fighting for democratic values.

Sirikan Charoensiri

Co-founder and Lawyer of Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR)

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Acknowledging that people are often not fully understanding of their rights, freedom of expression is the cornerstone of a modern, free and fair society. However, there are various measures for investigations and limitations of rights, most people therefore are still confused about how to defend their rights prescribed by laws. Through this collaboration with Twitter we will be able to provide many with access to essential information and tools when exercising such rights in Thailand.

Yingcheep Atchanont

Program Manager of Internet Law Reform Dialogue (iLaw)

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Twitter's #ThereIsHelp notification service provides timely support when and where it is needed the most. Through partnering with reputable local organisations, the search prompt helps to surface credible information and provides direct contact information to credible sources of help, enabling people timely access to the information they need. Twitter has launched over 268 #ThereIsHelp prompts with 44 languages available in 84 markets around the world on a wide range of issues including mental health and suicide prevention, vaccination, child sexual exploitation, COVID-19, gender-based violence, and disaster response.

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@monraweea

Monrawee Ampolpittayanant

‎@monraweea‎

Head of Public Policy and Philanthropy, Southeast Asia

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