Facebook on Tuesday hosted representatives from the ministries of Information and Interior for a half-day training session on how to best use digital platforms amid rising challenges from social media and a knowledge gap among officials.
“The programme coached officials on Cambodian Facebook trends, the Press Law, the Penal Code, Inter-Ministerial prakas on the posting of digital comment online and the future law governing e-commerce,” said Facebook policy director for Southeast Asia Rafael Frankel.
Information ministry spokesman Phos Sovann told The Post on Tuesday that although Facebook was a well-established platform in Cambodia, the government was still trying to understand what to do when someone’s privacy is violated online.
“This is not the first time Facebook has collaborated with the government. It has already worked with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport and other institutions.
“After the workshop, we [the ministry] had a much better understanding of how we can report privacy violations directly to the company. Facebook has many advantages, but it can also present a lot of disadvantages if we are not up-to-date.
“Facebook has appointed representatives to Cambodia and Lao in recent years to assist officials, and the ministry invited them to explain what to do when an individual’s rights or privacy is violated online and to guide us on its community standards,” Sovann said.
Cambodian Centre for Independent Media director Nop Vy said he was encouraged that officials were keen to inform themselves on how to adapt to the online world.
“Cambodian officials and users still have limited knowledge of social media. Capacity-building regarding social media and online safety is needed to support officials, people and journalists,” Vy said.
Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith said in his opening remarks at the workshop that the government needed to collaborate with companies like Facebook because several concerns had arisen from its popularity in the Kingdom, most notably fake news.
“Progress in sciences and the digital world is vital to the region’s development of media and information technology and the exchange of both ideas and technology. Partnership with firms like Facebook is vital as the region advances towards its long-term vision for the future,” Kanharith said.