Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday addressed the Asia Media Summit in Siem Reap, outlining his priorities to increase cooperation in the region and the world to combat fake news and cybercrime, which he said are becoming a serious threat.
In his speech at the opening of the summit, Hun Sen said: “At last year’s Asia-Europe Meeting [Asem] in Brussels, all European countries that made comments in the plenary session raised concerns about fake news and cybercrime.
“Digital technology comes with disadvantages – the dissemination of fake news, insults, hateful incitement, discrimination, conflicts between races and religions, news exaggerated from its real source, and cybercrimes such as online extortion and hacking to destroy public documents, all of which can harm security in the region and the world as a whole,” he said.
Hun Sen claimed that these issues required the relevant parties to increase cooperation bilaterally and in the regional and global framework to fight fake news and cybercrime.
Traditional media, he said, must adjust to the real situation and the development of modern technology in order to face the competition of the digital era and make a strategic framework policy for the legal provision of media and digital security standards.
Changes are required, Hun Sen said, for businesses’ data security management, the security of digital payments and to combat fake news and all cybercrime.
“I believe this summit will meaningfully discuss the opportunities, challenges, cooperation and partnerships involved in combating fake news and cybercrime, including ways to resolve problems caused by the Fourth Industrial Revolution."
“We will continue in the spirit of contributing to sustainable social and economic development in the region and globally and building long term global peace,” he said.
Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith said some 600 delegations from 42 countries were attending the summit and 70 people were to make presentations and share their experiences.
He said topics would include adapting to the digital revolution, the media’s anticipation of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, social media, fake news, new media and a roundtable discussion on digitalisation and media reliability.
“This summit is a place for various gatherings such as ministerial meetings on cooperation in the media sector, bilateral meetings of delegates and discussions among CEO’s about fake news,” Kanharith said.
Unesco Representative to Cambodia Sardar Umar Alam said at the summit that while the world is becoming more connected via social media, fake news is spreading much faster than accurate news.
However, he said that in the past few months, we have seen governments in the region blocking or slowing down connections on social media to prevent the dissemination of false information in the aftermath of terrorist attacks or large-scale protests.
He said the efficacy of such actions is not clear and there remain concerns about blocking legitimate uses of the platform, including for journalists.
“A study by MIT [the Massachusetts Institute of Technology] in 2018 found that disinformation was spreading six times faster than true stories on social media,” he said.