Greg and Ed consider the issue of freedom of expression in Thailand and the extent to which it is or is not compatible with Thai culture. The topic is sparked by THAT case…the one about a TripAdvisor reviewer who harshly criticized a Thai resort, only to have the Thai resort file a criminal defamation action against him. After two days in jail and a negotiated settlement, all was well until TripAdvisor put a warning on their website indicating what the resort had done.
Ed gives a basic rundown of Thai defamation laws and the sad fact in the case of a criminal defamation action, the ‘truth’ is not necessarily a defense unless the court determines the issue is a matter of ‘public interest.’ The guys go back and forth on whether Western-style freedom of expression is a true universal or whether it is more specific to a country’s culture.
Last, the boys consider the younger generation of Thais and whether they may be ready to actually push traditional Thai culture to evolve in a free-er direction, at least when it comes to speech.