My piece for Thai Enquirer:

The Government House runs a public relations account on Twitter — usually almost entirely ignored, each tweet garnering retweet numbers in the low single digits. But finally, the account managed to gain the attention of netizens with a tweet on October 9th.

At first glance, it appeared to be yet another piece of innocent feel-good government messaging. “A woman from Buriram cried in a supermarket after using the state welfare card and receiving five hundred baht to use. She said that she did not even have a single baht and this money would help prolong her life.”

Attached were four pictures of her crying with a basket of canned fish and other basic goods. 

It was a revealing tweet, and the torrent of criticism showed that netizens know it. The intention was to promote the state welfare card, a signature policy of the Prayut government, but how was the fact that an old lady was so poor that she would cry upon receiving five hundred baht a cause for celebration? 

Click here for the full piece.

(Cover image credits.)

Published by Ken Lohatepanont

Writer from Bangkok, Thailand; currently a student at the University of California, Berkeley. Enthusiastic about democratic development, international relations and all things politics. I believe in writing to facilitate positive political and social change.

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