Think Tank Hosts Workshop on Combating Disinformation

PHNOM PENH – The Royal Academy of Cambodia International Relations Institute of Cambodia (IRIC) is hosting a two-day regional workshop on the role of the media in combating the growing threat of fake news in artificial intelligence (AI). 

The third Mekong Journalism Training Workshop on “The Role of Media in Combating Disinformation and Fake News in the AI Context for Regional Peace, Stability and Prosperity” was taking place on June 5 and 6 at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, jointly organized by IRIC and the Club of Cambodian Journalists.

The workshop brings together about 70 journalists from ASEAN countries and China, allowing them to share information, support one another, and collectively combat the threat of disinformation on a regional scale while strengthening the ASEAN community's resilience against disinformation and fake news.

Director-general of IRIC Kin Phea said Cambodia and ASEAN states are ill-prepared to respond to new challenges in the face of threats caused by the rise of digital technology, including the insidious spread of disinformation and cognitive warfare, and their nefarious implications.

Phea pointed to a scheme orchestrated by two Taiwanese online content creators who orchestrated a series of fake charges against so-called torture and illegal imprisonment in Sihanoukville in February.

“These fabricated narratives, disseminated online and through social media, have tarnished the image of Cambodia, deter foreign tourists from coming to visit Cambodia, exacerbate social tensions, erode trust in governments, and hinder regional cooperation,” he said.

He said that such issues are amplified by the rise of AI which is being weaponized by external political forces to create social media manipulation and psychological strategies for the purpose of directing social agenda. 

During the workshop, the participant will examine disinformation and misinformation and challenges, pushing for the governments in the region to enact new legislations to regulate social media for the production and dissemination of fake news. 

They will also explore other potential solutions from different perspectives — technological, social, media-centric, educational and regulatory.

Investigative journalists will share their expertise on uncovering disinformation and misinformation and seek strategies for fostering media literacy among the public, empowering citizens to evaluate information and identify fake news critically.

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