• June 13, 2024
 Minister calls for stop to violent imagery online

Minister calls for stop to violent imagery online

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Neth Pheaktra, Minister of Information, during a meeting with officials.
Neth Pheaktra, Minister of Information, is calling on journalists, social media news outlets, online content producers and advertisers to stop sharing violent imagery on social media, particularly on Facebook, TikTok and Telegram news channels.

The minister’s message came following the recent online publication of an explicitly violent video of a man stabbing a woman to death in Sa’ang district, Kandal province.

Pheaktra said that publication of violent videos dishonours the dignity of humanity by unnecessarily showing a corpse. It also hurts the emotional well-being of the victims’ families, who have suffered the loss of loved ones.

“Recently, I noticed that a number of journalists and social media users have been posting and sharing murderous images. I once again would like to call for a stop to publishing these harmful images,” he wrote in a social media post on Monday.

He added, “To honour the families of the victims, you can share pictures that do not harm the dignity and privacy of the victims, or blur such pictures before posting and sharing them.”

He also noted that violent videos and images will have a negative effect on the minds and emotions of social media users, and especially upon youth and children.

The Minister of Information stressed that he believes journalists, social media users and content producers must uphold ethical practices, and adhere to social media advertising standards, and ensure they respect the dignity and privacy of individuals.

Puy Kea, President of the Club of Cambodian Journalists (CCJ), said yesterday that the publication of images that are opposed to the Law on the Press is unprofessional.

“The law defines very clearly the limits on images. Journalists must be extremely careful when it comes to picturing the victims of crimes, especially underage ones. In cases of brutality like violent rapes the pictures must be blurred,” said Kea.

Article 7 of the Law on the Press states that publication of obscene texts, pictures and graphically violent material are all prohibited.

He added that the CCJ has always made an effort to offer professional training to journalists and welcomes all journalists to inquire about the suitability of the images they choose for news reports.

Kea noted that violent images may indeed have a negative impact on youngsters.

“Violent images might cause misunderstandings or suggest that conditions in Cambodia are generally violent, although we have repeatedly informed everyone that mass brutality only occurred during the Khmer Rouge.”

He also reiterated the minister’s message, urging journalists, advertisers and content producers to stop sharing violent videos or photos that might shock those who suffer from heart issues or emotional sensitivities.

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