Reddit Carried Early News Of Thai Coup

    September 19, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

Social bookmarking site Reddit received running commentary from one of its users in Bangkok as a military coup began to take place.

Just before midnight local time on September 19th in Thailand, participant by the username of Alpha_Binary began to post information about the coup.

The military intended to overthrow Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, according to follow-up coverage by BBC Asia-Pacific. While Thaksin was in New York at the UN receiving news of the coup, Alpha_Binary posted his observations over about a three-hour period.

Those comments started with this:

A Thai here, reporting live from the capital.

23:25 Sep 19 local time… All local television channels are shut down. Tanks are rolling in the city. The capital has been completely taken over by the MILITARY coup, facing no resistance. Cellphones have also been cut. It is also rumored that some government representatives have been held captive.

No blood shed so far. Streets are dead quiet.

Of course, their biggest mistake is forgetting about the Internet.

Then later:

update @ 23:58 : FIRST ANNOUNCEMENT

The coup operation team have made their first announcement.

Mainly, they plan to seize over the complete control from the current “temporary” government, and hand it back to the people. Actually I don’t quite get their point, since that is what we call an election, and one is due in several weeks.

Alpha_Binary also kept his priorities straight, in wryly noting, “On an unrelated note, looks like my chemistry exam tomorrow is going to be canceled; making the first good news in several hours.”

Commenters on Reddit offered messages of support. One placed a link to a blog containing links, photos, and video of the coup taking place.

Numerous other news outlets in the region and beyond have since carried accounts of the coup and remarks from various political leaders. The immediacy of the on-the-ground commentary has proven much more compelling.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.