Over the past week, the Cambodian government has attempted to cut ties with the most important social media platform in the country — and then swiftly backtracked.
On June 30, Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government declared it would severely limit Facebook’s presence in Cambodia by halting the state’s relations with the company, expelling its employees in the country, and severing partnerships between the social media giant and the private sector. It did so in a Facebook post.
This came a day after Meta’s Oversight Board recommended removing a speech posted by Hun Sen, where the authoritarian ruler called for violence against his political opponents. The board also recommended a six-month suspension for Hun Sen’s Facebook account, which has more than 14 million followers. The move would have put Hun Sen’s account out of action ahead of Cambodia’s national elections on July 23.