Considering the present circumstances, many have begun to question the government’s handling of the situation.
Some, however, don’t share those concerns and believe it might just all be a smear campaign.
In a now-deleted Facebook post, Karmakamet founder and shareholder Natthorn Rakchana drew ire for a conspiracy theory-leaning take on current events.
Natthorn wrote, “Right now people are sharing pictures of dead people lying on the streets. They are all hired to play dead, and the police are chasing them down. Don’t fall for these country-haters’ tricks.”
Netizens were not happy.
Some vowed to ditch the products altogether.
“Saw the owner of this aromatics brand posting about how people are staging their deaths on the streets to discredit the government. Okay, I’m done with you now. Won’t use your products ever again,” wrote Twitter user YouGottaGoTH. The thread has been retweeted over 40,000 times at time of publication.
Some attacked the pro-establishment stance.
Twitter user New_1602
jokingly commented: “Get yourself ready to launch a coconut-milk scented candle,” alluding to the go-to insult for ultraconservatives/ultraroyalists. “It would suit your target customers better.”
As the mega brand fell from grace, others took the chance to promote lesser-known local alternatives.
“It’s time to support local brands,” wrote Twitter user pokpck, who encouraged people to try a diffuser cube from Thai local brand KLĀY. “It is truly an artisan work as the brand sources local ceramics from Maejo, Chiang Mai.”
Six hours later, the brand released a public apology.
“We wish to ensure that the company doesn’t share this view with Khun Natthorn,” wrote Karmakamet. “We have contacted Natthorn to inquire about his reasons for posting his online comments and found it’s been a misunderstanding on his part.”
The brand vowed not to repeat the same mistakes and firmly announced that it would never agree with any stance that would dehumanize people amid this great peril.
Yesterday, Pol. Col. Kritsana Pattanacharoen, deputy police spokesman for the Royal Thai Police, warned people not to fake their own deaths on the streets as the action is punishable by law.
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha later took aim against criticism of his government’s handling of the crisis. He ordered under emergency decree a crackdown on “fake news,” enacting a ban on any information that could “lead to misunderstanding and affect national security.”
The order allows the Office of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) to shut down any media outlets that violate it.
Today, Thailand officially recorded another 17,345 cases and 117 deaths from Covid-19.