Thailand blogger sued for defamation

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I’ve been keeping tabs on a certain area of the Internet recently. In this particular area, a prolific Thailand blogger is currently being sued by one, possibly two, real estate agents for defamation. This, the latest turn in a bizarre string of events, poses interesting implications for bloggers in Thailand and around the world.

While most bloggers think that they can write whatever they like without any repercussions, there are times when blogging can bite back. It is easy for bloggers to sound off about what they’re unhappy with or what annoys them, but perhaps this underlines that there are some thoughts that should be kept off the Internet.

While most bloggers wouldn’t dream of going to the lengths that this particular blogger went to, the fact that bloggers aren’t subject to the same editorial standards as magazines or newspapers means that there is still a large divide between journalists and bloggers.

However, there have been countless cases of journalists and newspapers being sued for defamation.

The latest from the main case filed against the blogger in question is that the whole thing is still in the preliminary stages. We live in Thailand, so the worst possible outcome for this blogger is a hefty fine, but there is also the possibility of deportation.

To my knowledge, this is the first case I have seen of a blogger anywhere in the world being sued for defamation.

It all seems like a bit of an expat soap opera, but there’s no doubt that there is a lot of foreign interest in this case. Anyone who publishes work, be it on the Internet or in a newspaper, can be held accountable for what they write.

The case of Kamol Kamoltrakul, being sued by Tesco for 100 million baht, has been plastered all over the media in the UK.

Kamol Kamoltrakul wrote about Tesco’s invasion of Thailand, which has been a major point of concern for locals in Phuket. Kamol mistakenly claimed that “Tesco’s Thailand operation provided the company with 37% of its global income”, when the real figure is 3.7%.

Anyone have any thoughts on any of these cases?

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14 thoughts on “Thailand blogger sued for defamation

  1. I'm forever saying that bloggers are publishers, just like the biggest newspapers, magazines and television stations around the world.

    If a blogger writes something untrue or malicious about me or my company and it damaged either I would want to take action. Bloggers must be able to justify and stand by everything they write.

  2. It makes sense that someone can be sued for saying negative things even if they are true. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out and if they will have some kind of international standard for blogging.

  3. There's no international standard for blogging because laws pertaining to libel, etc, vary from country to country. You just have to look at the YouTube example to see that. What's fair comment in one country is deemed unacceptable in another.

    One interesting thing is that you need a license from the Police here to publish a newspaper or magazine yet blogs and websites require no such license or supporting documents.

    There's also the Work Permit issue. I'm sure that blogging, whether for profit or not, does legally require a work permit. After all you even need one if you're doing volunteer work so writing is also deemed as working.

    There's a lot to be said for anonymous blogging ! ;-)

  4. I think I know which case you're referring to and I've been following it. It started out as a bit of mud-slinging to get the traffic up. Now it seems to be another case of 'Isn't Thailand great?! Normal rules don't apply.' It's up to the Thais to decide how seriously to take it. My guess is they'll spin it out and hope all involved get bored.

  5. Difficult to have a thought on something we don't know. Is it purposely that you don't give details about this blogger case you are talking about??

  6. I know about the case too. Personally I think both parties are assholes. But I'm rooting for the blogger to come out victorious. We also had bad dealing with the Estate Agent involved.

  7. [Nobody involved in this case will be mentioned on this blog again. Sorry Perky. — Matt]

  8. Yes it is [that dude]. He's acting like the big man standing up to the accusations. But I'd be seriously worried in his shoes. This is Thailand, and almost everyone can be bought for a price. Even judges. Considering how many people dislike [him] I wouldn't be surprised if the other fellas having a whip round.

  9. While I agree that the blogger steps on a lot of toes, he is also standing up for what he believes in. The estate agent is running a dirty business, just try calling him to find out about your investment and he becomes aggressive.

  10. Why don't you want to name Summers? You've got his name in three titles of your posts, one asking if he's maddest person in Thailand? Seems a little strange that you're now trying to protect his identity???

  11. I'm uneasy about the whole case and the people involved. I've heard many things about all of these people. The previous posts were written a long time ago. These people aren't worth giving an inch.

  12. Perhaps. But they are entertaining. What a soap opera! I sometimes wonder if it's all made up.

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