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Nearly 50 Facebook pages ‘spreading misinformation’

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CCJ holds press conference on COVID-19 and fake news at Basac II Restaurent in Phnom Penh. Heng Chivoan

Nearly 50 Facebook pages ‘spreading misinformation’

The Ministry of Information on Wednesday accused 47 Facebook pages and users of spreading misinformation regarding the novel coronavirus outbreak.

These users are sharing fake news to smear the reputation of the government and cause unrest, the ministry said, warning them that they will be punished if they don’t change course immediately.

“Some Facebook users have created fake news to cheat, fabricate, mislead and change the situation to smear the name of the Royal Government of Cambodia and create fear,” the ministry said in a press release.

The ministry asked the people to use reliable sources of information to learn about Covid-19, particularly the Facebook pages and websites of the Ministry of Health and the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Some of the Facebook pages highlighted by the ministry include Kam Tep Lim Hong, Romnea William Monyreach, Seng Ratana, Hun Kosal and Sdam Husen.

Some of the users mentioned by the ministry are Meak Mech, Sarakkar, Kam Tep Lim Hong, Chan Rina, Dara Meng, Ir Channa and Vibol Mao.

Information and Broadcasting director-general Phos Sovan told The Post on Wednesday that some of those users are now under supervision.

“We will wait for a week to see how they react. If any of those pages or users keep spreading fake news, we will send them to the relevant ministry for further action,” he said.

The Club of Cambodian Journalists (CCJ) on Wednesday appealed to all journalists to report factually and professionally on news regarding the virus, pointing out that Covid-19 was a vital issue and that stopping the outbreak demanded everyone’s participation.

“Please report information relating to Covid-19 clearly and be precise about all technical and medical aspects of the information provided. Please consult only with experts and use peer-reviewed scientific research papers.

“Please adhere to our professional code of ethics and respect the privacy of those who have contracted the virus. Only reveal their identities, including nationality, if the Ministry of Health has revealed them or if the patients give their consent. Please avoid language that could lead to division or discrimination.”

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