Four key news coverage areas have been identified for monitoring which are natural events or disasters, reports on the economy, reports on harmful consumer products and news reports on government policy. The Digital Economy Minister has stressed that the agency aims for best standards in international practice.
The Thai Minister of the Digital Economy is working to pull together its framework for the operation of the new fake news centre expected to be in place by November 1st. This includes measures to be taken to deal with fake news content which the new service has detected and determined to be harmful to the public good.
Thailand’s Ministry of the Digital Economy and Digital Economy Mintser Buddhipongse Punnakanta are reaching out to social media platforms such as Facebook and YouTube as well as Thailand’s mobile phone operators to take action against online news and social media sources that may be found to be disseminating fake news under a new framework which the government is drawing up to facilitate the operation of its new fake news centre.
Earlier reports have suggested that flags or symbols may be used on some social media to indicate which is fake news or content that is clarified by the government. However, full details of the measures to be taken against fake news sources have yet to be outlined.
Subcommittees tasked with helping define fake news across areas of concern to the public
The fake news centre which will be overseen by the Digital Economy ministry is expected to be operational by November 1st and 4 subcommittees have been set up to oversee the framework for designating what is and what is not fake news.
These cover four subject areas where Thai authorities deem fake news to be a threat to public peace and order. These include reporting on natural disasters, the economy including the banking system, health products or illegal or potentially harmful consumer offers and reporting on government policies.
Efforts will be made to clarify fake news reports
The fake news centre will be working on detecting inaccurate information and then examining it. Efforts will then be taken to clarify the reports and publish clarifying information. This will be achieved through a website as well as the two most popular social network platforms in Thailand, Facebook and LINE.
Ministry underlines the goal of meeting international standards in its assessment of content
The ministry has set out its stall for how the fake news centre should operate saying that the framework being implemented should be similar to and in line with the operating principles and codes of practice followed by the global social media platforms who now have had several years experience in dealing with the issue.
US organisation cited by the Ministry which oversees fact-checking networks worldwide
The ministry has also referenced an organisation in the United States which acts as a guiding force for the regulation of fact-checking agencies themselves to ensure that they are transparent, fair and capable of retracting or correcting mistakes which are inevitable in any such process.
The International Fact Checking Network in Florida has been in operation since 2015 and was established by the Poynter Institute of Media Studies in the United States.
‘If our standards for handling fake information are in line with how global platforms operate, or the practices are recommended by IFCN, it would make global platforms more likely to collaborate with our anti-fake-news centre,’ Thailand’s Digital Economy minister was reported as saying last week.
Government agencies and ministries working to brief officials on how to cooperate with the news centre
In preparation for the new fake news centre, the government is organising briefing workshops involving 20 ministries and over 200 agencies to educate and equip officials in Thailand to work with the new fake news service.
The government will also be reaching out to the public to raise awareness about the new agency and the role of the public in helping it uphold truthful reporting based on fact.
The minister has highlighted three essential qualities for the new service which will be accuracy, clarity and speed of response.