PHNOM PENH: Media practitioners and representatives from think tanks across Southeast Asia have collectively called for a unified action against fake news, citing its role in deepening societal divisions and hindering informed public discourse.

International Relations Institute of Cambodia (IRIC) Director-General Dr Kin Phea said as social media platforms have become breeding grounds for fake news, there is a need for a concerted effort to prevent the proliferation of fake news not just in Cambodia but also at a regional level.

"Therefore, we are coming here together in order to discuss for effective and efficient ways to combat the spread of fake news," he added.

This appeal was made during the “Third Mekong Journalism Training Workshop on The Role of Media in Combating Disinformation and Fake News in AI Context for Regional Peace, Stability, and Prosperity,” held in Phnom Penh last week.

IRIC organised the workshop in partnership with the Club of Cambodian Journalists, attracting over 70 media professionals and academics from countries including Malaysia, Cambodia, the Philippines and Indonesia.

The workshop participants, representing media and think tanks from across Southeast Asia, emphasised the need for joint efforts to combat disinformation. They recognised that fake news exacerbates societal divisions and disrupts informed public discussions.

In a joint statement, the participants acknowledged the crucial role of media, governments, ASEAN as well as other stakeholders such as think tanks in fighting disinformation within the AI context in order to promote regional peace, stability, and prosperity.

The statement also encouraged social media companies to leverage advanced technology to detect fake content and called for stronger regulations related to AI to prevent the spread of fabricated news.