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‘Fake news’ committee logs nearly 1,400 cases in first half

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Information minister Khieu Kanharith on July 5 holds a meeting to review the status of his ministry’s battle against ‘fake news’. AKP

‘Fake news’ committee logs nearly 1,400 cases in first half

In the first six months of this year, the Ministry of Information’s “Fake News Monitoring Committee” investigated 1,376 cases related to spreading messages and videos termed fake news deemed to have incited social chaos or to be insulting to government leaders, an increase of 476 cases over the same period last year.

The committee said it had been working to discover the identities of sources that publish the messages and videos, noting that 207 new sources were found in the period.

According to the committee’s report, this represented an increase of 476 of these cases compared to 2021, with the highest increase coming during the campaign period for the 5th mandate commune council elections.

At a meeting to review the committee’s work for the first half of this year on July 5, information minister Khieu Kanharith said those tasked with combating misinformation must understand technology and the evolution of society and its consciousness.

He said this requires cooperation in all areas as it is vitally important to win the fight against fake news and its spread.

Kanharith noted that many younger Facebook users are now turning to TikTok, which is gaining popularity in the country. He urged the team to keep up with the changes in the use of social media, including use of Twitter by the ministry’s official accounts to intelligently fight fake news.

“Now we have the problem of ‘deep fakes’, which can mimic the human voice and alter the associated images to make fake videos that appear incredibly realistic and deceive people if they cannot verify,” he said.

Phos Sovann, head of the ministry’s General Department of Information and Broadcasting, called on the public and media as well as experts to participate in the fight against fake news.

“We had 3,000 members of the private media which sent information for verification, requests for intervention for victims in various cases, and reporting of comments on social media which negatively impacted our culture, morality, society, honour, dignity and the value of women,” he said.

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