This week's column would have focused on social media for its role in reporting Monday's 6.3-magnitude earthquake - if the temperature in the political arena had not heated up so quickly.
With the way things are going, it is understandable that some Thai journalists prefer to keep the “Stop Hate Speech” poster as their profile photos on social media, even though World Press Freedom Day was marked a week ago.
In reality though, it is difficult to judge if the campaign launched by the Thai Journalists Association and the Thai Broadcast Journalists Association urging people and the media to enjoy press-freedom responsibly will succeed.
Political tensions continue rising thanks to former PM Yingluck Shinawatra’s cases with the Constitutional Court and the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC).
On Wednesday, the charter court ruled to remove Yingluck from her post – one day after she delivered her testimony – and the NACC decided to indict her on Thursday.
In addition to all this, anti-government People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) leader Suthep Thaugsuban decided to bring forward the group’s mass rally from next Wednesday to yesterday.
Social media proved to be useful again yesterday as it kept users updated about the PDRC’s many rallies and their moves in regard to many TV stations.
The red-shirt United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship also mobilised protesters from the provinces ahead of their rally on Aksa Road, which is scheduled to start today.
Yet, despite being a font of useful information, social media also became an outlet for some to deliver hate speech and share derisive comments about the charter court and the NACC.
Everybody on social media is keeping a close eye on what others say, ready to jump in, while some people have started offering their own reasons and logic for all that’s happening.
Sadly, few realise that every action has an equal and opposite reaction.
Hence, this writer would like to share the following message that was posted on Facebook by Dharma writer Dungtrin yesterday:
“Love and hate can make people blind;
In love, you pretend not to see the bad points;
In hate, you pretend not to see the good points;
Sometimes you don’t even have to pretend
The love and hatred make you blind
These emotions take over all reason;
We can be unreasonably devoted to love;
And unbelievably loyal to hatred.”
Maybe Dungtrin was not directly referring to the state of politics, but perhaps his words can be taken as a warning. Perhaps, it is time for us to stop, look and listen for a change instead of making judgements.