Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Foreigners ‘liking’ PM less

Foreigners ‘liking’ PM less

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

Foreigners ‘liking’ PM less

Two months after revelations that the majority of new fans to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Facebook account were coming from outside Cambodia, the page has experienced an abrupt drop in foreign “likes”.

Beginning early this year, the page of the self-proclaimed “e-premier” saw a boost in “likes” from countries such as India, Myanmar and Brazil, gaining hundreds or thousands of followers per day from each.

But on May 7, the flow of new “likes” arriving from those countries plummeted, according to data from social media analytics site SocialBakers.

The influx of new likes from abroad has fallen to a fraction of the prior rate, while likes from within Cambodia have remained steady.

On some days, certain countries have registered negative growth. For example, the size of the prime minister’s Indian fanbase decreased slightly on May 8, 10 and 11, when a week prior it had been increasing by 2,000 to 3,000 likes per day.

In March, technology and social media experts told the Post that the flood of new followers from abroad could be evidence that the page was boosting its numbers by purchasing likes from so-called “click farms”.

Prime Minister Hun Sen and other officials have denied this suggestion, instead attributing the rapid growth to the premier’s popularity abroad.

But the sudden halt seemingly gave those theories credence. “This is probably the best indication that the allegations were true,” said an anonymous IT expert based in the capital. “These things don’t just happen by accident.”

Government spokesman Phay Siphan yesterday said he “did not know” about fake “likes” but reiterated the premier’s Facebook page was intended as a tool to hear the views Cambodians. “It is not a competition,” he said.

Additional reporting by Shaun Turton

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • Khmer cinema classics back on big screen for free at WB Arena’s outdoor movies series

    On a recent Saturday evening at WB Arena, Bunsong was enjoying a tasty BBQ meal with his family after work on the long tables that had been arranged out in front of the restaurant as they watched a Khmer action movie on a big outdoor

  • PM heads to Washington for ASEAN-US special summit

    Regional and international issues and how to bring the ASEAN-US partnership to another level will be discussed at length as Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ministers arrive in Washington, DC, for a special summit on May 12-13. During the trip, Hun Sen and ASEAN

  • National Assembly refutes EU resolution

    The National Assembly (NA) has hit back at a European Parliament resolution condemning the political and human rights situation in Cambodia, calling it another display of the Parliament’s “double standards”. Key points of the resolution include a warning that the Parliament could exclude the