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The opposition using Facebook to undermine the government

Published: 24-Apr-13 11:22AM

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PHNOM PENH (The Cambodia Herald) -- Social media such as, Facebook, has helped the opposition expand their political messages to voters, while The Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) main outlet is in traditional media such as newspaper, television, and radio.

The National Rescue Party (NRP) have used Facebook skillfully to spread their political messages without having restrictions, and sometimes their propaganda strays far from the ethics of journalism.

If you’re one of the many Facebook users, you will see the NRP broadcast their political messages aimed to undermine the current government.

They use photos of CPP leaders with critical content and post it on Facebook to attract viewers interest.

Observing what Facebook can achieve and what they have posted, groups of opposition party supporters have been established to utilize this outlet.

To date, an estimated 700,000 people have Facebook accounts, reflecting it as a new media which can influence the Cambodian elections.

Because the majority of Facebook users are below 35, it has a direct contact with young voters, representing more than 50 percent of the 9 million registered voters.

With the use of simple language, messages are able to be easily absorbed by their young minds.
Unlike newspapers, Facebook lets their users share opinions between friends or with in a group, and sometimes these young Facebook users become unaware agents for the opposition parties.

With the capacity to access and spread messages to Facebook users very easily, the opposition can also spread their policy more effectively to criticize government.

Facebook users can express whats in their minds more freely, while traditional media such as newspapers, TVs, and radios are under journalism ethic.

The ruling party is looking at the possibility of social media but haven't utilized it to broadcast their political messages.

However, it is still not clear whether Facebook will have a strong influence in the upcoming elections on July 28.

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