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Defamation Law and Social Media in Thailand

Transcript of the above video:

This topic, Defamation Law and Social Media, this is something I have not particularly wanted to discuss for a variety of reasons but I have gone ahead and made this video. 

This is going to be one of those videos which is for me an exercise in comparative law.  I am not going to mention specific fact circumstances or anything in the news, I am talking just about Thai Defamation Law in a very general context and I am talking about various aspects of American Law and Social Media in a very general context.

Something I think folks have overlooked especially in the American legal tradition, especially in Social Media here in recent years, is the notion of what is called the Confrontation Clause of the United States Constitution.  Under US law, it is Constitutional Law. Those who accuse other people, now generally speaking this is viewed very narrowly in a legal context, but accusers must be confronted. So if you have been accused of something by someone, again strictly speaking they view this in a narrow context, but I think these principles are important so this is why I am making this video. If you accuse someone of something then under at least American Law, that person who has been accused has a right to confront you.  Now this is often again known as a trial and that is part of how we deal with things in the American legal tradition. There are elements of confrontation in a Thai legal context. If you accuse someone of something under Thai Law then you have a right to face them in court and for an adjudication to be undertaken. 

In recent months and years I have noticed in Social Media just generally, that there has been a kind of a collective amnesia especially in the American context, of the notion of confrontation and I have even seen this, I saw it kind of pop up somewhat with respect to the Cavanaugh hearings for the Supreme Court and again he wasn't in a legal proceeding; that was a political activity that was being undertaken under the Constitution so the Confrontation Clause did not directly legally apply but again these principles are important. The notion that if you are accused of something, you should be able to confront your accuser is important. 

Now that brings us to Thai Defamation Law. Thai Defamation law and the Thai legal system and how Thai Defamation law can play out procedurally in the Thai legal system is a very foreign concept to the American mind but I would make an argument that actually in point of fact, it is more familiar than one would think because in a sense, Defamation Law allows for a kind of de facto or confrontation by default, especially in the Social Media era wherein it is possible that someone can accuse someone of something in Social Media and then via the mechanisms of Defamation Law, via the mechanisms of the Thai Court System, that person can be pulled in to the Thai Court and then compelled to confront or to interact with the opponent party in that situation that has been so-called accused. They are allowed to confront one another and deal with the situation at hand. 

Now I am not making this video to act as a proponent for the way Thai Defamation Law is written or procedurally the way that it operates. I am making this video more to provide some context to folks in an American context about how in many ways the Procedural System in Thailand is very similar to the Confrontation Clause in the US.