In Cambodia, Facebook is social media. When it swept across Cambodia by the late 2000s, few analysts anticipated the social and political implications that would follow. It was then primarily a tool to keep in touch with friends beyond the usual meet-ups. However, as the network has expanded and new features have been added, the ways people use the tool has multiplied and the time they spent on it has lengthened. Over time, ‘Facebooking’ has become a pattern of public life that merits close scrutiny in order to better understand it.
Essential to this transformation is the exponential growth of information that keeps people on the screen. Diverse forms of information are now at users’ fingertips. Data, news, and opinions are no longer the exclusive products of experts. Literally everyone with a smart phone and basic digital competence can take to the new public sphere to create stories or express dissent. The more successful individuals in this regard have garnered a large number of followers and become social media influencers.
Please click here to read the full “How to think of social media activism in Cambodia” article published at Asia Dialogue, written by Griffith Asia Institute PhD Candidate, Mun Vong.