As Facebook is taking off in Cambodia, concerns over online identity also arise when several public profiles of Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen were found online, but denied by the premier cabinet.
With more than 600 million users world wide, Facebook has a policy that allows its users to report fake profiles. But a quick search on the site shows that there are two profiles and three Pages that represent the Cambodian premier, whose cabinet told that the accounts “were not created by sources close the prime minister”. One of the Pages, usually used by public figures and businesses, has more than 20000 fans. Via micro-blogging site Twitter, Thomas Crampton, a Hong Kong-based social media expert, told me that there are “290k Facebook users in Cambodia, with 90% under the age of 30 and more than 60% male”.
When asked what’s the implication of this online fake identity, Saray Samedy, who researched on Facebook use among Cambodians, told me that “It’s like you’re wearing a mask, no one know who you are in a way you could protect yourself from going public in the online world”. A negative thing about this is that “people make advantages from that by hiding their identity and do something inappropriate,” added Samedy.
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