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Trouble brewing for anybody ‘liking’ coup posts on Facebook

According to the Washington Post police in Bangkok have opened investigations of four people for allegedly causing panic by posting rumors of a possible military coup on Facebook and an investigator threatened on Monday to charge anyone who even ‘liked’ the posting on the social media site. The say that the move comes after Bangkok braces for possible political protests this week coinciding with a bill related to the 2006 coup in the country. Opponents say the bill could pave the way for the return of Thaksin Shinawatra.

According to the Washington Times Technology Crime Suppression division chief Police Maj. Gen. Pisit Paoin said Monday that the four posted Facebook entries with false information that could damage the country. If found guilty, they could face up to five years in prison and a fine worth 100,000 baht ($3,200).

“These four have posted false messages about the coup and other messages that could lead to chaos in the society,” Pisit told at a press conference. “The postings’ content does not hold any truth, and if the words kept spreading around, it could damage to the country.” He said the police have issued summons for them to meet investigators.

Among those summoned are Sermsuk Kasitipradit, the political editor of public television channel TPBS, and a local pro-government protest leader.

The postings mentioned a possibility of a military coup and urged the public to hoard food and water.

“Those who ‘liked’ and ‘shared’ the posts will also face charges, so we would like to ask the public to contemplate very carefully about the way they use social media,” Pisit added.

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