Blogs in Thailand and Malaysia: Contrasting Contexts, Contrasting Contents

Chalisa Magpanthong, Drew McDaniel

Abstract


Governments in Southeast Asia have generally maintained stringent control over mainstream media, especially on matters related to politics, but the Internet’s rise has enabled citizen journalists to bypass those controls. This study examined popular blogs in Thailand and Malaysia, two countries that have quite different political and historical settings, looking at the range of contents presented by blogs in each nation. We found that while Thailand has a policy blocking many Websites, Malaysia has maintained an open Internet policy in support of its Multimedia Super Corridor project. Blogging in both countries enjoyed a tremendous boost in popularity because of limitations imposed on mainstream media. In both countries, blogs tend to be associated with politics. And yet, because of government policies that influence information exchange, in neither country are bloggers free to freely exercise their rights of self-expression.

Keywords


Blogs; Internet Policies; Lese Majeste; Thailand; Malaysia; บล็อก; นโยบายสื่ออินเทอร์เน็ต; ความผิดทางอาญาฐานหมิ่นพระบรมเดชานุภาพ; ประเทศไทย; ประเทศมาเลเซีย

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