Cyber soldiers promote the monarchySubmitted by prachatai on Fri, 07/06/2013 - 21:10
Rangers Task Force 45, in response to Army policy, has put its troops to the task of promoting and protecting the monarchy in cyber space, claiming to have posted 1.69 million comments on webboards and social media during a 4-month period of last year.
Video clip posted on the Rangers Task Force 45 website describing its cyber operations to worship and show loyalty to the monarchy
The number of posts each month from June to September 2012, as shown in the video clip
Rangers Task Force 45 of the 4th Army Region is based in Ra-ngae District of Narathiwat Province.
According to the video clip, the Army Chief has approved the establishment of an army internet network to promote and protect the monarchy by monitoring websites and webboards which have content alluding to the monarchy and countering them by posting comments which worship the institution.
The task is overseen by Col Chalermchai Sutthinual, Commander of Rangers Task Force 45. The unit’s military operations personnel provide the troops with information, or what to post, and set them targets for the number of posts they must complete.
The unit began this task in May 2010. From June to September 2012, a total of 1,699,038 comments were posted on the internet, an average of 13,927 posts per day.
The narrator of the clip claims that, as a result, the 4th Army Region has posted more comments showing loyalty to the monarchy than the other regional armies.
Troops with outstanding performances were rewarded with excursion trips to Malaysia, the narrator says.
However, some technical problems have occurred when the troops, along with those from other units, posted too many comments on certain websites within a certain period of time; they were blocked or encountered server errors.
To solve these problems, the unit will find other websites, or even produce its own websites for the troops to post on, the clip says.
‘With unwavering loyalty, Rangers Task Force 45 of the 4th Army Region wants to be part of praising the monarchy, in response to the wish of the 4th Army Region Commander to bring the 4th Army Region to the forefront of the Army,’ the clip says.
Another unit, Rangers Task Force 48, has also assigned its troops a similar task. One of its operating spaces can be found at http://www.bkk1.in.th/pran48/31428, a website which offers a free webboard service.
Many popular websites which provide webboard service create a separate forum to specifically accommodate this type of comments. www.sanook.com, for example, has a forum called ‘Join the worship of HM the King’.
As of 7 June, the forum had 3,492 threads with 279,860 comments, which included well-wishing statements, royal speeches, etc. Posters use aliases or abbreviations of military units. In terms of numbers of comments posted, this forum was the third biggest after the first two which had 1,057,527 and 487,673 comments respectively.