18-year-old's Facebook Posting Spurs 'Hate Campaign'
An 18-year-old high school graduate has become the subject of an on-line hate campaign over alleged insult of the Royal institution. Natthakarn Sakundarachat also claims that she has been refused a place at Silpakorn University because her highly controversial postings on her Facebook account. Natthakarn Sakundarachat, also known as “Karn Thoop” in cyber space, told The Nation yesterday she had received death threats both on-and off-line. Internet users have spread her picture and family details and vilified her through repeated forward mail, she said.
She described herself as the victim of an online "hate" campaign, although those offended by her Facebook postings ask whether she played a part by stirring things up.
“I would like to ask people in this country if we have liberty to choose our religious faith why can’t we have the right to choose who we love or not love as well?” Natthakarn said, adding that while some of her writings on Facebook should be treated as political writing it weren't meant to be taken seriously. She also alleged that some of the content attributed to her Facebook profile page has been fabricated by others and used in the on-line hate campaign on Facebook and people her to “go and die”, “to get out of Thailand”.
At press time, people in charge of admission at Silpakorn University could not be reached for a comment. But Natthakarn insisted her political belief and the on-line campaign led the university to be biased against her. She insisted her grade was good and her interview went well.
Natthakarn is a member of a socialist group of the red-shirt movement called Social Progressive Congress.She said she was disappointed and added she may not be able to study at any university for the upcoming school year as a result.
Natthakarn said her neighbours in Ratchaburi’s Baan Poeng district also received leaflets attacking her and family. She said police refused to accept her complaint, saying they could not trace those behind the leaflets.
“I am afraid that I might be attacked,” she said. “Around my home, I have been accused of trying to overthrow the monarchy. When I went to the police two days ago the police told us to be careful. The whole district knows about it now… I feel that I am not getting justice. It has not been proven that I really defame [the monarchy]. Now I can’t even use a phone,” she said, adding that barrage of hateful calls had been made after her family details were revealed online.