BANGKOK (AP) — A Thai Cabinet minister is threatening to try to shut down Facebook in the country, saying the social media platform does not do enough to screen the advertisements it runs, leaving people vulnerable to costly scams.
Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn, Thailand’s minister of Digital Economy and Society, said in a statement Monday that he is ready to go to criminal court by the end of the month arguing for Facebook to be shut down in Thailand.
He said Thai authorities have already appealed to Facebook parent company Meta to take down fraudulent ads, leading to more than 5,000 being blocked, but that the problem persists.
He said ads or fake profiles on Facebook frequently purport to represent reputable financial and investment advisers offering high profits, luring people into scams in which they lose their money.
Reached by phone on Tuesday, Meta in Thailand asked for queries to be sent by email to its press department, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the minister’s allegations.
It was not immediately clear how quickly the court might rule on the case if it is filed by the ministry.
Facebook is extremely popular in Thailand, with more than 50 million user accounts for the country’s 66 million people.