Actions to be taken against ‘Clubhouse’ users who discriminate against people from Isaan

Thai Minister of Digital Economy and Society (DES), Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn, has vowed to take legal action against anyone who openly discriminates or has discriminated against people born in the country’s north-eastern region, known as Isaan, in online discussions on the “Clubhouse” platform.

Meanwhile, a group of north-eastern MPs, from the opposition Pheu Thai Party, called on the government today (Monday) to take immediate action to stop this provocative act which, they said, may incite division among Thai people. They also want the creation of a better understanding among Thais toward the Isaan people, their cultures and traditions.

Chaiwut admitted today that the criticism in the “Clubhouse” chat room has caused widespread unease among members of the public, adding that he has instructed officials to ascertain if any of the criticism is inflammatory, false or discriminatory, which may cause damage to the public, in accordance with the computer crime law. Those found guilty will be liable to a maximum of five years in prison and/or a maximum fine of 100,000 baht.

He said that anyone who feels they have been insulted or discriminated against in online discussions can file a complaint with the police.

The flagrant online discrimination has provoked an uproar among netizens, making the “Clubhouse toxic” hashtag hugely popular on Twitter. One participant referred to famous pop idol Lalisa “Lisa” Manoban, of the ‘Blackpink’ girl band, by saying if Isaan is so good, she should have returned to her hometown in Buri Ram province, not live in South Korea.

Pheu Thai MP Suthin Klangsaeng told the media at parliament today that he feels the participants in the discussions completely lack maturity and understanding about the Isaan people.

He urged the Ministry of Education to educate Thai children about diversity and multiculturalism, where people from different places and backgrounds must co-exist in peace and harmony.

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