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Social media becomes tool for rival viewpoints

Shutdown campaign hot topic with each side pushing their opinions

IN THE LEAD-UP to the Bangkok Shutdown on January 13, there has been a lot of varied feedback on social media, with people mainly divided into those who agree and support the campaign or those who disagree and oppose the protest.

Both sides are actively pushing their positions.

One side has people who say they will continue going to work and living as usual in their daily life, because they disagree with the Shutdown idea.

Some actively share messages that are against the campaign and invite people who also disagree with the People's Democratic Reform Committee to state their position on their social media status (or profile) - to show that they will live as usual.

People on the other side back the Shutdown campaign. They are also posting opinions on their Facebook status and tweeting their support, inviting friends to join the mass rally on January 13. They continue to change their Facebook profile pictures with a photo and message asking others to support the campaign. Some people provided feedback on how the campaign would affect them, such as Buakanok Bua, who said she and her children would stay at home, not join the march and not get stuck on the road in a bad traffic jam.

But Sutirapan Skkawatra said he would send his child to school first, then join the march on January 13.Da Dee Da (Facebook name) said she was not against the PDRC Shutdown campaign but she might not join the march.

Phongsak Kowatcharakul would go to work as usual then join the march after work.

Nook Nick, Vorapa Tkul, and Anna Nattaya are preparing things before the day of the Bangkok Shutdown, because they plan to join the march with necessary items such as whistle, cap, shoes, mask and glasses.

Sutee Tuvirat said the beauty of this situation was that it would test the readiness of the country's national disaster plan, as well as the national critical infrastructure protection programme.

"We will know exactly that we don't have a realistic plan if an unrealistic plan is only written on paper. We lie to ourselves that we have business continuity planning," Sutee said.

He said the effects of closing roads might not occur in inner areas of Bangkok. But people living in these areas might face trouble with food because 7-Eleven branches and other convenience stores would not get supplies if the traffic was closed.

"Food shops and hospitals in these areas might keep larger stocks than usual," Sutee said.

Taveeracht Tangchantrongkul said that he would live as usual and wait to go to vote in the election.

"If you think you are the majority and would like to express your power, please choose the right way to show your power. Ask yourself, who will be in trouble and suffer from this campaign and who will really win," Taveeracht said.

Putchong Uthayopas will also go to work as usual. As a state official, he said he needed to keep working, as it was his duty and responsibility.

Meanwhile, two injuries were reported during a clash in Chiang Mai between red shirts and anti-government protesters, who threw stones and bottles of water at each other.

Supporters of the government threw rocks at anti-government protesters carrying national flags as they rallied on the back of trucks in the northern province.

In the capital, thousands of anti-government protesters took to the streets to drum up support for the campaign to shut down the capital on January 13.


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