Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Info minister warns of dangers of ‘fake news’

Info minister warns of dangers of ‘fake news’

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A man browses social media on a laptop at a café in central Phnom Penh yesterday afternoon. Pha Lina

Info minister warns of dangers of ‘fake news’

Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith, at a roundtable hosted by the Club of Cambodian Journalists yesterday, urged netizens to watch what they repeat, lest they contribute to the circulation of inaccurate information on social media.

Kanharith maintained that most Facebook users simply read and share articles they like without checking their legitimacy. He gave as an example, a widely shared story about a young boy who drowned in Battambang.

An article circulated on Facebook claimed a doctor refused to treat the boy, when in reality the doctor simply wasn’t at the clinic. “We have to set a code of ethics . . . and a norm for Facebook users,” he said.

The ability to identify reliable sources of information has become an international issue, said Rene Gradwohl, a representative from Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung. A report released last week by Stanford University found two-thirds of American teenagers could not identify credible news stories.

“Media literacy should be disseminated in schools,” he said. In response to growing criticism, which emerged after so-called “fake news” became a phenomenon in the recent US presidential elections, Facebook itself released a statement last month pledging to do more to combat misinformation.

Moeun Chhean Nariddh, of the Cambodia Institute for Media Studies, said misleading news “is a concern”, but also warned against trying to “restrict the freedom of social media”. “Journalists should take the lead in preventing false information from circulating.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh

  • Monks given ‘Samdech’ title for contributions

    Three senior monks on Thursday were given the highest-ranking title “samdech”, with Prime Minister Hun Sen saying that the promotions were due to their contributions to Buddhism. The three distinguished monks were promoted on Thursday morning at Botum Vatey pagoda in Phnom Penh, at a

  • Facing possible sanctions, PM criticises Washington’s rights record

    While United States congressmen are discussing the Cambodia Democracy Act and an amendment that could impose more sanctions against Cambodia’s government, Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday counterattacked by questioning the respect of human rights and democracy under the US-backed Lon Nol regime, and