The IRS Framework to Investigate Intermediary Censorship in Social Media: A Case Study of Pantip.Com
18 Pages Posted: 23 Dec 2011
Date Written: December 23, 2011
Amidst the recent political uncertainty, Thailand’s Internet censorship continues to be controversial issue because the basis for filtering seems politically motivated and actual filtering practices are inconsistent. Following the enactment of computer crime law in 2007, online service providers (OSPs) or online intermediaries in the context of Web 2.0, also known as social media, are compelled to control illegal content including content that are deemed lèse majesté (defaming the royal family). This situation leads to induced self-censorship of intermediaries, often resulting in overblocking or excessive removal of content to avoid violating the law. Such filtering flaw both infringes users’ freedom of expression and impedes the business of OSPs in Thailand. The framework of innovation of retrieval system (IRS) is thus developed to investigate intermediary censorship in social media. Since the legal basis and regulatory criteria related to social media appear to be non-transparent in Thailand, IRS is expected to reveal how self-censorship of intermediaries is administered. The constructed IRS will be tested on the most popular online discussion forum, Pantip.com, to disclose its censorship practices, and to explore the opportunities and challenges of the IRS. The result of this research is expected to promote users’ freedom of expression and transparency in emerging technology of social media and to expose the criteria used by OSPs in content censorship.
Keywords: content, convergence, innovation, legislation, media
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