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Tripadvisor Warning on Hotel Puts Thailand's Defamation Laws In Spotlight

Tripadvisor Warning on Hotel Puts Thailand's Defamation Laws In Spotlight

But Tripadvisor took the unusual step of posting a warning on its page for the hotel. Far more common, and far less covered in the press, were cases where local laws were used to silence dissent. Thailand’s royal defamation laws carry penalties of up to 15 years for comments deemed offensive to the monarchy, though pro-democracy protesters have pushed boundaries during recent demonstrations and usage of the law has declined. “Criminal defamation provisions are ripe for abuse,” Matthew Bugher, head of the Asia program at freedom of speech advocacy group Article 19, told VICE World News. While companies and individuals should have a right to defend themselves against falsehoods, criminal defamation provisions cause more harm than good.

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