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This article was published on July 10, 2014

The BBC is launching a Facebook news station to beat Thailand’s military censorship

The BBC is launching a Facebook news station to beat Thailand’s military censorship Image by: AFP/Getty Images
Mia Vals
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Mia Vals

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The BBC is turning to Facebook to overcome uncertainties around its news service in Thailand, which was temporarily taken off-air alongside other international broadcasters after the country’s military staged a coup in May.

The organization is launching a “pop up” news operation that will dish up Thai, regional and international news in both English and Thai across the social network. The pilot will run for three months — it’s not clear if it will be replicated elsewhere in the world.

The initiative has won praise from Britain’s Minister for Southeast Asia, and is certainly an interesting way to avoid the Thai junta’s clampdown on media. The army ordered a brief block of Facebook, but it remains to be seen if it would consider restricting access to this BBC project.

Thailand has a population of 67 million and is estimated to have 28 million Facebook users, according to the social network’s own data.

Note: This article has been updated to reflect the fact that the BBC’s news service is no longer off-air in Thailand.

➤ BBC announcement

Also read: How YouTube is changing the media landscape in Asia

Thumbnail image via Nicolas Asfouri / AFP / Getty Images