New Minister Abandons the Plan to Block Facebook Access in Thailand

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Addressing Scam Ads: A Collaborative Approach

Thailand’s new Digital Economy and Society Minister, Prasert Chanthararuangthong, announced that he will retract his predecessor’s threat to block Facebook access in the country due to its inability to control scam ads. Prasert acknowledges that scams are a significant problem but believes that blocking Facebook would negatively impact millions of businesses relying on the social network.

Impact on Businesses and Users

Thailand has approximately 45 million general Facebook users, and countless businesses depend on the platform for their operations. Blocking Facebook access would have far-reaching consequences for these businesses and the country’s economy. Prasert’s predecessor, Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn, threatened to seek a court order to block Facebook access as his requests to remove fraudulent ads had gone unheeded.

Collaborating with Facebook Executives

Rather than taking a confrontational approach, Prasert aims to work with Facebook executives in Singapore and Thailand to address the issue of scam advertisements. Chaiwut, a deputy leader of the coalition-member Palang Pracharath Party, had previously complained that Facebook failed to screen out scams through sponsored pages, despite numerous requests from the ministry and related agencies.

AI-powered Scam Detection

Prasert plans to set up a special center within three months to combat scams, using artificial intelligence (AI) to detect abnormal financial transactions. According to Chaiwut, 70% of all online investment scams in Thailand originate on Facebook.

Prae Dumrongmongcolgul, the country director for Meta, Facebook’s parent company, stated that the company already employs AI to identify fraudulent ads. However, scammers continually adapt their tactics, and Facebook’s algorithms sometimes need time to catch up. Prasert’s proposal to establish a specialized center for scam detection could potentially strengthen this process and help protect Thai businesses and users from fraud.

An Ongoing Battle Against Scam Ads

As scammers continue to evolve their techniques, the Thai government and Facebook must collaborate to protect businesses and users. By working together and utilizing advanced technology like AI, they can enhance their efforts to detect and eliminate fraudulent ads, ensuring a safer online environment for all.