We live in the digital age. Internet and social media allow us to access information and promote freedom of speech. But the internet didn’t bring liberty and independence: Technology can be manipulated and misused.
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen supposedly bought likes from “click farms” in India and the Philippines to promote his message on Facebook. But his critics can get arrested over voicing their opinion on social media. In Myanmar, Muslim Rohingyas receive massive death and violence threats via Facebook. The social media platform fails to detect hate speech and depends on users and NGOs to report them. Similar incidences are happening all over Southeast and South Asia.
How do authoritarian systems in Southeast Asia use social media for propaganda? What challenges does Facebook face in countries with diverse languages, cultures and religions? Why has Facebook struggled to detect and delete hate speech? And how can we deal with fake news online?
To discuss these questions journalist Megha Rajagopalan, who wrote a series of articles on the subject, is joining us from London.