Facebook now has another social ill to add to the growing list of reprehensible things it has been blamed for: unwanted teenage pregnancies.
Yes, according to Thai government body the National Economic and Social Development Board, the social networking giant has a lot to answer for in the country.
It said that Thai mothers under 20 years old accounted for 14 per cent of all mothers who delivered babies in 2009 and 2010, putting Thailand top of Unicef’s rather undesirable list of most teen pregnancies in Asia.
The research, reported by Thailand’s National News Bureau, seems to tie together the fact that 18 to 24-year-olds are the largest group of Facebook users, with the suggestion that young folk post seductive messages or video clips online.
Not surprisingly, the fallacious statement from the NESDB has drawn the ire of local bloggers.
Saksith Saiyasombut argued that Thailand’s prudish attitude towards sex education might be more to blame. He revealed that recent national sex ed exam asked students: “What should you do if you have a sexual urge?” The answer, apparently, was “call friends to go play football”.
It’s unlikely Facebook will bow to pressure to screen its content in the country, although the authorities do have a predilection for web-blocking.
Thailand recently became the first country to state its support for Twitter’s much-criticised new feature which allows for tweets to be blocked at a country level to comply with local censorship laws. ®