Google removes maps listing details of HUNDREDS of Thai pro-democracy activists doxxed by pro-royalists

Google removes maps listing details of HUNDREDS of Thai pro-democracy activists doxxed by pro-royalists

The technology giant has deleted two maps created by a group of royal supporters that leaked the personal data and addresses of hundreds of citizens deemed to be promoting anti-monarchy sentiment – a crime in Thailand.

The company removed the maps on Monday, on the grounds that doxxing was not in line with Google Map’s intended usage: “We have clear policies about what’s acceptable for user-generated My Maps content. We remove user-generated maps that violate our policies.”

Journalist Andrew MacGregor Marshall, a published expert on the Thai monarchy, earlier called on Google Thailand to “deal with this before someone is killed.”

Hi @GoogleThailand, dozens of people are being targeted with a Google Maps document that includes their address and photos and accuses them of being anti-monarchy. You need to deal with this ASAP before someone is killed. DM me please

— Andrew MacGregor Marshall (@zenjournalist) June 28, 2021

Pro-monarchy activist Songklod “Pukem” Chuenchoopol, backed by a team of 80 volunteers, compiled the details of people criticizing the government online and plotted their locations and personal details on a map. While some of the faces of the alleged royal critics were hidden, the sharing of their private data still placed them at considerable risk from repercussions. One map revealed the whereabouts of almost 500 supposed young critics and had been viewed almost 350,000 times.

MacGregor also shared an image of Pukem boasting on Twitter about how easy it was to create the maps, with the caption reading that Pukem’s goal was to find the details of 2,000 activists and then issue them with a lawsuit.

The notorious royalist ทรงกลด ชื่นชูผล aka Phu Khem has claimed he created the Google Maps document targeting young Thais accused of disrespecting the monarchy.

— Andrew MacGregor Marshall (@zenjournalist) June 28, 2021

This comes shortly after the most recent flare-up of anti-government protests, just last week, when droves of Thai citizens took to the streets to push for reforms that would diminish the king’s powers. Their other demands include the resignation of the prime minister and his government, constitutional reform, and an end to the harassment of government critics.

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Thai law views defaming, insulting, or criticizing the monarchy as a serious criminal offence, and it can carry a prison sentence of up to 15 years.

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