The other day there was big news on social media.
A little lady who’s both tender and reasonable had a conversation with a famous talk show host, Woody Vuthithorn Milintachinda, in a new application that is a hit worldwide and in Thailand, Clubhouse.
They conversated for about 30 minutes, and the listeners crowded the room. From the so-called “salim” to the so-called “nation-haters.”
The little lady is Pavin Chachavalpongpun. He called himself a little lady, tender and reasonable. I’m just repeating what he said.
This is what the Prayut Chan-o-cha government fears the most. People from both sides of the political/social divide exchanging thoughts, with reason and open mindedness.
Therefore, Buddhipongse Punnakanta, Minister of Digital Economy & Society, warned the app users: do not distort information, no fake news, and do not cause harm.
All three basically mean the same thing: Do not speak the truth that will shake the foundations of this government, the truth that General Prayut cannot accept.
Pavin posted on his Facebook page, describing the Clubhouse conversation with Woody as “an opportunity for a civilized human conversation.”
This is what the government cannot accept. Look at the censure debate in parliament, this is what benefits the government. Because it enhances social division. The emotions. The hatred. The anger. The fear.
As long as society is divided, at each other’s throat:
“You damn salim!” You damn nation-haters!”
Then the people cannot unite to fight for human rights, the rights all 69 million Thais deserve.
On YouTube, followers listen only to their prophets and together, they disparage the other side.
On Facebook, it’s the same.
On Twitter, with limited word count, it’s difficult to have a normal conversation, let alone nonsensical hate texts.
But on Clubhouse, you hear voices. You listen. You exchange.
Even if you can’t see their faces, you hear the voices of fellow human beings. And they can hear you. It’s different from just typing letters.
The exchanging of ideas and information can lead to eyes opened, more understanding, less stubbornness and ego.
It can open our eyes to see that, whether you love the institution very much or not so much, the reality is for the country to move forward, we Thais must unite to stand against military coups, a government that originated from a coup, a government that keeps its power through 250 senators, a government that does not have the skills or talents to manage the country.
A government that survives and thrives on social division.
Therefore, they will do whatever they can to deny freedom of speech.
For sure, the IO (Information Operations) will be in the Clubhouse. For certain, laws will be used to harass the people.
It is because what they fear is already happening.
Pavin, as controversial as he is, exchanged ideas with Woody, with tenderness and reason.
And the people, from both sides, listened in.