Greg and Ed tackle the uncomfortable topic of self-censorship in Thailand, especially as it pertains to the podcast itself, and the churning, roiling issue of what you can say, when, and how, which seem to be in the news every day. Although it...
Greg and Ed tackle the uncomfortable topic of self-censorship in Thailand, especially as it pertains to the podcast itself, and the churning, roiling issue of what you can say, when, and how, which seem to be in the news every day.
Although it is unfortunate, the reality of working and living in Thailand is that the laws and culture are not the same as back home in the U.S. and Canada. Obviously, this means no discussion of the monarchy, and Ed explains how he always advises visiting friends to simply avoid discussion of the monarchy and royal family in pretty much any context. This is good advice for all foreigners in Thailand actually.
Second, the boys concur that although they do criticize the government broadly, they make sure not to name specific politicians or policymakers. Although technically no law forbids it, strong and pointed criticism of the Thai government has a way of ending up poorly for the critic, from sudden problems with your visa to (in extreme cases) outright disappearance. On a podcast that is not centered on political issues, it just ain’t worth the risk, and while the guys feel comfortable critiquing the government broadly, that's about as far as they are willing to go.
Last, Greg and Ed discuss Thailand’s defamation laws, which work differently than the laws back home where ‘truth’ is more or less an absolute defense. In Thailand, even if you say something true, you can be found guilty of violating another person’s privacy. As Ed put it, Thailand has a ‘mind your own business’ culture, as opposed to the ‘speak truth to power’ culture we have back home.
All this being said, the guys admit that self-censorship is fairly rare and not really a problem for a podcast focused on the serious (and sometimes silly) aspects of living in Thailand as a foreigner.
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