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

  • Municipal hall releases map detailing colour coded Covid risks by commune

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng released an official map detailing the red, yellow and dark yellow zones within the city under the new lockdown orders for Phnom Penh announced on April 26. The designation of red, dark yellow and yellow corresponds to areas with high,

  • Inter-provincial travel ban lifted; Phnom Penh and Takmao not exempted

    The government on April 25 decided to lift the inter-provincial travel ban and the closure of tourist attractions across the country, effectively immediately. The travel ban and closures of all resorts were imposed on April 6 and 17 respectively in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19,

  • Phnom Penh unveils rules for post-lockdown transition

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration issued a set of detailed guidelines for the seven days to May 12 after the capital emerges from lockdown at the onset of May 6. In the 14-page document signed by municipal governor Khuong Sreng released on the evening of May 5, the

  • Phnom Penh, Takmao lockdown extended for another week

    The government late on April 26 announced an extension of lockdown in Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province for another seven days – or longer if residents do not comply with Covid-19 preventive measures and the community outbreak does not subside – until May 5. According

  • Gov't mulls extension of Phnom Penh, Takmao lockdown

    The Inter-ministerial National Commission for the Control and Enforcement of Lockdown held a video conference meeting on April 25 to review a draft document on the extension of lockdown in Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal province’s Takmao town. The meeting was chaired by Minister of

  • Gov’t issues guidelines as lockdown nears end

    The government has issued a five-page set of instructions to be enforced when the three-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province ends on May 6. According to an announcement signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 4, the instructions cover a