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Youth forum discusses ‘responsible’ social media use

An internet user browses Facebook in Phnom Penh.
An internet user browses Facebook in Phnom Penh. Vireak Mai

Youth forum discusses ‘responsible’ social media use

More than 100 young people gathered yesterday in Phnom Penh to discuss the benefits and pitfalls of social media in Cambodia.

At the youth forum, which focused on “Politics in the Digital Age”, youths, monks, politicians and NGO leaders spoke about the increasing importance of social media and its role in influencing political debates.

Long Kemkhorn, director of the Cambodian Youth Assembly, said social media should be used responsibly, arguing that failing to do so can lead to “chaos” and breed “extremist ideologies”.

Kemkhorn added that social media is becoming increasingly entwined with politics in the Kingdom, with everyone from the opposition to Prime Minister Hun Sen actively using platforms like Facebook to share information and opinions.

The alleged misuse of social media has drawn the ire of the government in recent months, with threats to crack down on cases of incitement and insulting language.

Chak Sopheap, executive director of the Cambodian Centre for Human Rights, said politicians should address concerns by teaching people how to use social media “responsibly and safely”.

Cambodia National Rescue Party lawmaker Yem Ponharith agreed that social media should be used only “with caution”.

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