Long Take Politics and Elections:

Conversation on Democracy, Politics, and Elections 2023
Long Take Politics

From left to right: Mr. Phuriphat Kruanpparatana (Researcher for the Office of Innovation for Democracy, King Prajadhipok's Institute), Jiggy Calucag and Jobelle Joan S Domingo (Liberal Party of the Philippines)

According to Article 102 of the constitution, the election commission of Thailand will hold a national election within 45 days after the tenure of the 25th House of Representatives ends on March 24th 2023. The date for the upcoming election is currently set for May 7th 2023. Competition and political struggles are rising as political parties and politicians prepare for the new electoral race.

The Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom along with our partners King Prajadhipok’s Institute, Faculty of Political Science, Thammasat University, and Sanya Dharmasakti Institute for Democracy has organized a three part series to discuss the usage of political misinformation, innovation and technologies as tools for political campaigns, and finally an analysis on the current political landscape of Thailand.

This is the first of the three part series on the rise of political misinformation and what we can learn from the Philippines.

“Our study concluded that in Thailand, the public consumes media mainly from Facebook followed closely by Youtube. In terms of News Channel; Thairath, Channel 7, and Amarin TV ranked highest for news sources” says Associate Professor Dr. Gamolporn Sonsri, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Mahidol University. “The biggest problem we face today is the way that news is being presented. In our fast-paced society, rapid publishing of news gives rise to a lack of ethical verification of facts - this consequently leads to fake news, misinformation, and news sources giving personal biased narratives to influence public opinions.”

“Digital Media Literacy is not the be all and end of all of disinformation”

Dr. Surchananee Sriyai and Dr. Gamolporn Sonsri

From Left to Right:  Dr. Gamolporn Sonsri and Dr. Surchananee Sriyai

Assistant Professor Dr. Surachanee Sriyai  presented her research findings on factors that influence the spread of fake news. The research was funded by Chulalongkorn University. “When it comes to disinformation and misinformation, it comes down to psychological factors that drive people to share disinformation…. If this is the case, then digital media literacy may not help”  Dr. Sriyai further added that what she found interesting was that the more active the participants were politically, the more susceptible they were to misinformation and disinformation.

Jobelle Joan S. Domingo is from the Liberal Party of the Philippines. She describes what happened in the 2022 Presidential elections of the Philippines. “Currently, there is the highest inflation rate in 14 years and the worst handling of the COVID-19 pandemic but despite that, the president got the highest approval rate in history. All of this is due to disinformation”

“For us [Filipinos] the number one problem with Philippine’s democracy is disinformation. We cannot have open conversations or enriching debates because of disinformation”

As a strategy to combat disinformation long term, Jobelle highlights Finland as a case-study. “[In Finland] they have integrated disinformation into their curriculum not as a standalone subject but into every subject at every educational level”

Jiggy Calucag is also from the Liberal Party of the Philippines he adds that although they have lost the presidential election, [the liberal party] has understood the problem better on the fight against disinformation, and the challenge to break it down is a sacrosanct duty of every agent of democracy.

“Tuloy ang laban in filipino means The Fight Continues”

We would like to thank Associate Professor Dr. Puli Fuwongcharoen (Dean of Faculty of Political Science, Thammasat University) for his welcoming speech and a thank you to Mr. Phuriphat Kruanopparatana (Researcher, at the Office of Innovation for Democracy, King Prajadhipok’s Institute). The Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Thailand is honored to be associated with this event.