The Thai government has a bloke who must have the silliest job description in the world. Thattharit Sukcharoen scans the Internet pages looking for blogs insulting the monarchy.
He is not the only one. Apparently there are 24 volunteers recruited by the Thai justice ministry to patrol cyberspace in search of anybody violating the kingdom's strict lese majeste rules. If someone is caught, they could face 15 years behind bars, and not the sort of bars you would want to get locked up in.
Thattharit, a 39-year-old administrative worker at a school in Bangkok, told AFP that kids mucking around and joking about the king is fine. But some comments that he sees are not appropriate and must be reported.
Online discussion on social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter is fuelling political debate and challenging Thailand's long-standing taboo against openly discussing the royal family. King Bhumibol Adulyadej is the world's longest-reigning monarch and revered as a demi-god by many Thais even if he has no official political role. Recently the Thai government has removed tens of thousands of web pages from the Internet for allegedly insulting the monarchy, and the cyber scout initiative is the latest attempt to monitor online debate.
As part of the Thattharit training he learnt about the history of the king, his majesty, and how divine he is and also how to use a computer, the Internet and Facebook. Must be weird working for a boss who is a god, as we have only worked for people who think they are.