“Amid the spread of fake news, media must exercise greater responsibility while we pursue more media literacy efforts”, Cambodian Information Minister Dr Khieu Kanharith said.
He admitted that combating fake news remains a challenge in the country where the use of internet and social media has dramatically increased.
In his presentation during the Asia Media Summit in Cambodia, he said the use of social media has become more popular lately with about seven million Cambodians having their Facebook accounts.
Based on figures from the Telecommunication Regulator of Cambodia, the minister said, the use of mobile phones has also been widespread. “The number of sim-card users is over 19 million or equivalent to 117% of the total population. About 82.61% of the country’s population of 16 million has mobile broadband. Six mobile internet service providers are operating in the country”.
The Minister said Cambodia does not impose restrictions on the use of the internet and social media.
“Everyone can create an account and use it right away; sharing information among people and relating their own stories, express self-opinion”, he said.
However, he emphasised that the government can take legal action against those who disseminate content in text, audio, picture, video and/or other forms intended to damage its national defence, national security, economy, public order, and national culture and traditions.
Minister Kanharith spoke at plenary session 1 on ‘How we can Adapt to the Digital Revolution’ together with four other information ministers from the region.