(CTN News) – An Oversight Board at Meta Platforms has called for the suspension of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen for six months after a video posted on the Prime Minister’s Facebook page violated the company’s rules against violent threats.
In a statement, the board, which is funded by Meta but operates independently, argued that the company had made a mistake in leaving up the video on Facebook and ordered it to be removed.
Meta has agreed to remove the video, but will review the recommendation to suspend Hun Sen once it has reviewed it.
The suspension will mean that the Prime Minister’s Facebook page will be silenced less than a month before an election in Cambodia, although critics believe that the election will be a sham because of Hun Sen’s autocratic rule over the country.
According to the Oversight Board, this is only the latest in a series of rebukes it has issued regarding how the world’s biggest social media company handles the incitement of violence around elections, and the breaking of rules by political leaders.
A large part of the company’s efforts are focused on improving election integrity as the United States prepares for next year’s presidential elections.
After the deadly Jan. 6 riot, the board endorsed Meta’s decision to banish former US President Donald Trump – the current front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.
However, he criticised the indefinite nature of the suspension and urged the public to be more aware of the volatility of political situations in general.
The former president of the United States of America has been reinstated by Meta at the beginning of this year.
During a meeting held last week, the Meta board said that its handling of calls for violence after the 2022 Brazilian election has raised questions about the effectiveness of Meta’s election efforts in the years to come.
This ruling comes in response to a video posted on Hun Sen’s official Facebook page in January, in which he appears to threaten to beat up political opponents and send “gangsters” to their homes, according to the ruling of the board.
According to Meta at the time, the video violated a number of its rules, but it decided to leave it up under a “newsworthiness” exemption, reasoning that the public has an interest in hearing warnings about violence from their government, according to the ruling.
There was a finding by the board that the video’s negative impacts outweighed its positive effects.