Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Facebook confirms deleting dubious Covid-19 postings

Facebook confirms deleting dubious Covid-19 postings

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Facebook recently removed hundreds of thousands of misleading posts and comments about Covid-19 which were deemed harmful by third party experts. Hean Rangsey

Facebook confirms deleting dubious Covid-19 postings

Facebook's public policy director for Southeast Asia Rafael Frankel said at a press conference on Monday that hundreds of thousands of comments and posts about Covid-19 had been deleted from the social media platform for containing information that could lead to physical harm.

Meanwhile, Ministry of Information spokesperson Meas Sophorn said the ministry has warned the public about more than 30 Facebook accounts which were suspected of actively spreading misinformation about Covid-19.

Frankel said: “I don’t have statistics to share for Cambodia. What I can say is that globally, we have hundreds of thousands of pieces of misinformation that could lead to harm. We don’t usually separate our data on a country-by-country basis.”

However, he said in Cambodia, Facebook received reports from a wide range of users about misinformation, and the company actively sought it out as well.

Only misinformation which could lead to physical harm was removed, he said, and for those decisions, Facebook relied on outside experts.

“So, in the context of Covid-19, we are guided by the World Health Organisation and other global health experts about what kinds of content can lead to physical harm,” Frankel said.

In addition to removing harmful misinformation, Frankel said the social platform recently launched other features to help people in Cambodia move their businesses online.

He said Facebook is currently working with the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to fund women entrepreneurs.

The new programme is expected to provide up to 1,700 young women entrepreneurs with specialised business training.

Sophorn told The Post on Monday that at the beginning of the pandemic, Cambodia encountered large amounts of misinformation about Covid-19, such as misconceptions about how the virus was spread and what its symptoms were.

“But at the same time, we saw some Facebook users share real information confirmed by relevant authorities about Covid-19,” Sophorn said.

He said the ministry had collaborated with relevant institutions and Facebook to fight against the misinformation.

Asked if Facebook had shut down accounts or pages deemed harmful in Cambodia, Sophorn said: “Yes, there is some degree of cooperation from Facebook. It stopped or suspended those Facebook accounts following requests from the ministry.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia unveils new quarantine regulations

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Hun Sen: Cambodia set to fully reopen

    Prime Minister Hun Sen concludes that the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, during which many people either flocked to their hometowns for family reunion or gathered at tourist attractions across the country, has not caused an outbreak of Covid-19. In a special address to

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Cambodia resumes issuance of tourist visas

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has announced the resumption of its tourist visa and visa exemption programme after a long hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In a letter dated October 20 and addressed to foreign embassies and consulates, foreign minister Prak Sokhonn

  • Cambodia voted ‘world’s friendliest country’ in Rough Guides reader poll

    Cambodia ranked number one among the “World’s Friendliest Countries”, according to a reader poll conducted by London-based international website “Rough Guides”. Taking submissions through Twitter and Facebook, “Rough Guides”, a well-known travel agency and publisher of guidebooks, said the Kingdom “was by far the