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

  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • PM confirms third Covid-19 community transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 20 announced the Kingdom's third outbreak of Covid-19 community transmission after 32 people tested positive in just over 10 hours. Addressing the public from his residence after an emergency meeting, Hun Sen said: "I dub it February 20 Community Event, in which 32 cases

  • Cambodia's cluster cases jump to 259

    The Ministry of Health on February 27 recorded 26 more cases of Covid-19 linked to the February 20 community transmission, bringing the total to 259 in one week. The 26 include three Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. The ministry noted that five of the Chinese