A protester waves the Thai national flag during a demonstration in Bangkok on August 15, 2021, calling for the resignation of Thailand's Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha over the government's handling of the Covid-19 coronavirus crisis. ( AFP / LILLIAN SUWANRUMPHA)

Old video resurfaces in misleading posts about Thailand's anti-government protests

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As anti-government protests were staged across Thailand, a video was viewed hundreds of thousands of times on Facebook alongside a claim it shows Thai police officers hitting a protester's car. The video has been shared in a misleading context: the footage has circulated online since 2013 in reports about a Thai protest against an amnesty bill.

The four-minute 37-second video was published here on Facebook on August 11, 2021. 

It has been viewed more than 240,000 times.

Screenshot of a misleading post, captured on August 16, 2021

The video's Thai-language caption translates to English as: "Why did you hit the car?"

The video, which purports to have been streamed live, shows a group of policemen smashing a car's front window with a baton.

Bystanders can be heard saying: "We are women", and "No, no, no, brother".

In August 2021, Thai police fired water cannons, rubber bullets and tear gas at anti-government protesters in Bangkok, AFP reported

The same video was shared here on Facebook and here on Twitter alongside a similar claim. 

The video, however, has been shared in a misleading context. 

A reverse image search on Google found a longer version of the video, published here on YouTube in December 2013.

A logo for Blue Sky, a Thai pro-establishment television channel, can be seen in the top right-hand corner of the footage. 

The video's title reads: "December 26, 2013: A clip captured from inside a car while police smashed the vehicle at the Thai-Japanese Stadium in Din Daeng". 

At the video's two-minute 40-second minute mark, a person who claims they were inside the car can be heard saying: "We are nurse volunteers. We are just going to park here but we won't leave the car. But they tried to get us out of the car."

The video in the misleading post corresponds with the YouTube video from the 56-second mark onwards.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the video in the misleading posts (L) and the YouTube video (R):

Screenshot comparison of the video in the misleading posts (L) and the YouTube video (R)

 

Protests broke out in November 2013 after the Thai government passed a political amnesty bill under former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

The bill sparked concerns it would allow former PM Thaksin Shinawatra to return to the country, AFP reported here

Further keyword searches found the same footage shared here on a YouTube channel for Thai media site Manager Online on January 3, 2014, titled "01/03/2014 The police chief state that the police didn't smash the car, it just looked like that.

The police officer states: "Authorities have found out there were a group of protesters who hid inside the car, so we had to go in to arrest those people. So it seemed like we were smashing the car."

The same footage appeared on various Thai-language websites in December 2013, including here, here and here.