Tinder gets embroiled in protest efforts in Thailand

Online dating app Tinder has been caught in the crossfire of the ongoing Thai protests, which calls for the reform of the monarchy. Thai netizens are taking to Twitter to show that they are banned from the dating app, claiming that this happened after they posted pro-democracy content. According to a tweet Marketing Interactive saw, the user was told his or her profile picture violates Tinder's term of service after the user tried to upload a QR code with a link to amend the constitution on his or her bio. The post was accompanied with a picture that showed Tinder's notifying the user that the uploaded picture has been removed. 

Another netizen chimed in with similar sentiments, claiming he/she had tried to put a picture from activist group United Front for Democrat against Dictatorship (also known as the "red shirts") in the profile. After the user's account got banned, he/she tried to write in to appeal to Tinder. The post was accompanied with Tinder's email reply which said the account has been banned for violating its terms of use or community guidelines. It is added that Tinder does not offer appeal processes at the time of request. According to Tinder's community guidelines, it said "soliciting other users is prohibited on Tinder". If the purpose of the profile is to advertise an event or business, non-profit, political campaign, contest, or to conduct research, Tinder may delete the account. Marketing has reached out to Tinder for a statement.

Tinder is not the only online platform that is embroiled in this situation. Earlier in August, Reuters reported that social giant Facebook blocked access within Thailand to a group by the name of "Royalist Marketplace”, which was reportedly a group of one million members criticising the country’s king. The article added that according to the group’s page, access to the group has been restricted, in line with a legal request from Thailand's ministry of digital economy and society. According to Reuters, Facebook said it was planning to challenge the government legally after being requested to block the group's access.

The ongoing protests come as Thai people demand that the government be dissolved, according to BBC. Demonstrators also demand that the constitution be changed and that the authorities "stop harassing critics". There was also a 10-point call for reform to the monarchy, seeking not to "destroy the monarchy but to modernise it, to adapt it to the society". 

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