Facebook denies Thai PM-Zuckerberg meeting
Facebook statement apparently contradicting the prime minister’s announcement that a meeting was scheduled for October 30
By Tery Fredrickson
Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha’s hopes of meeting Facebook chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg look to have hit the rocks as a Facebook spokesman said no such plans are on the drawing board.
“There are no plans currently for any of our senior leaders to visit Thailand,” according to the statement by a Facebook spokesman.
The government has yet to respond to the denial.
On Tuesday, Gen Prayut told the media Mr Zuckerberg will visit Thailand on a business trip and he had asked to meet Gen Prayut.
Gen Prayut laid out the agenda of the supposed meeting in some detail on Tuesday.
“Mr Zuckerberg asked to meet me to discuss cooperation in preventing and solving the problems of transnational crimes, and what kind of measures and plans should be in place,” he said.
Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak, who is in charge of economic affairs, also confirmed to the media on Monday the Facebook co-founder would visit Thailand.
Facebook has an enormous Thai participation - more than 90 per cent of all internet users. A Facebook electronic poster, displayed when the company opened its Bangkok office in 2015.
Mr Somkid said the meeting announced by the prime minister would provide a chance to ask him to block posts and videos deemed to be in violation of lese majeste laws. Facebook has refused to remove or block most of such posts.
Facebook and the government have clashed over the refusal of the social-media leader to remove or block dozens of allegedly defamatory posts on their site, many of which are accused of violating the lese majeste law.
For several years, Facebook has repeated its policy on blocking or removing posts, or identifying account users. In short, Facebook will not address any such government requests until there is a specific court order.