In Thailand, Martial Law Is a Backdrop for Selfies



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A woman takes a 'selfie' photograph with Royal Thai Army soldiers stationed at the Ratchaprasong intersection in central Bangkok, Thailand, on Tuesday, May 20, 2014.
Thailand's military declared martial law on Tuesday following six months of anti-government protests.
"The army aims to maintain peace, order and public safety for all groups and all parties," a ticker on the army's television channel said, according to CNN. "People are urged not to panic, and can carry on their business as usual," he said.
But when people in Thailand woke up to the news, many scrambled out of their homes and hotels to see soldiers in the now familiar army — there have been at least 18 military takeovers since 1982 — and get their picture taken with them.
Photos of both Thais and tourists taking pictures with members of the military spread on the Associated Press and Getty Images's photo wires on Tuesday, leading to a wave of stories about "selfies."
But despite the seemingly festive mood, Thailand's military warned against using  social media to spread rumors, saying it would suspend online services for inflammatory content, and asking unnamed social media companies for cooperation in censoring such messages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

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    Passers by take photograph with a Thai soldier guarding a pedestrian overfly near the site where pro-government demonstrators stage a rally on the outskirts of Bangkok, Thailand Tuesday, May 20, 2014.
    IMAGE: WASON WANICHAKORN/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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    Tourists take pictures of Thai soldiers guarding outside Thai police headquarters Tuesday, May 20, 2014 in Bangkok, Thailand.
    IMAGE: SAKCHAI LALIT/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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    Passersby have their photograph taken with a Thai soldier guarding a pedestrian overfly near the site where pro-government demonstrators stage a rally on the outskirts of Bangkok, Thailand Tuesday, May 20, 2014
    IMAGE: WASON WANICHAKORN/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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    A Thai woman take pictures with Thai soldiers stationed outside the Thai police headquarters Tuesday, May 20, 2014, in Bangkok, Thailand.
    IMAGE: SAKCHAI LALIT/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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    People pose for photos with Thai Army soldiers deployed on a downtown street after martial law was declared on May 20, 2014 in Bangkok, Thailand.
    IMAGE: RUFUS COX/GETTY IMAGES
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    A woman poses for a photo next to a Thai Army vehicle after martial law was declared on May 20, 2014 in Bangkok, Thailand.
    IMAGE: RUFUS COX/GETTY IMAGES
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    A man posing for a photograph with a Royal Thai Army soldier stationed at the Ratchaprasong intersection in central Bangkok after Thai army Chief Prayuth Chan-ocha declared martial law giving the military full control to prevent further protest-related violence in the country.
    IMAGE: PITI A SAHAKORN/LIGHTROCKET/GETTY IMAGES
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    Residents stop to take a photograph of themselves at a military checkpoint in central Bangkok, Tuesday, May 20, 2014.
    IMAGE: KIKO ROSARIO/ASSOCIATED PRESS















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