I am so shock to browse through my home page and see my friends’ post about the death of Mr. Sok An, the Deputy Prime Minister of Cambodia. [since 16th of March]
What shocks me is that those who comment ask “is that sure?” “is that real?”
My first reaction is that why do we ask such questions?
Within Cambodia, such news should be known by now.
But, when I come to reflect upon it, I ask myself what is going wrong with our source of information (in general)?
One side of it reveals that we still possess that thinking attitude, that curiosity to know the truth, to discern to trust or not to trust; but another side tells us about the reliability of the news in Cambodia.
How much is the news reliable?
I have seen many Cambodian websites providing the news which are just a hoax or a troll;
and many people come to believe in it.
I have seen pages which provides a sensitive issue to boil up the anger of the people, to promote patriotism which are not based on truth, or merely to gain the popularity.
e.g. few months ago, my sister shared a post of condolence for the death of Beyonce and I told her to remove it because it is just a hoax, she removed it afterward.
The next day, one of my cousins shared that condolence.
Are we plunged ourselves already into this so-called “post-truth” (the fact is no more important)? It seems. Thus, the news on social media is like a political demagogue which seeks after a popularity by calling simply to the desires and prejudices of the people rather than building it on fact.
I don’t mean to condemn those who just share their sheer opinions based on the fact or truth.
Wittgenstein said in his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus that:
What can be said at all can be said clearly, and what we cannot talk about we must pass over in silence.
What can we talk about?
What can we not talk about?
Can we talk about life after death?
Can we talk about life in heaven?
How sure are we to talk about it; does anyone experience it?
But, can we talk about doing good act?
Can we talk about patriotism?
Can we talk about helping others?
Can we talk about building peace on earth? Yes, I think so.
But insofar as we can talk about it, why don’t we talk about it clearly?
If we want to talk about the issue on plastic rice or chemical in the veggies, then why don’t we talk about it clearly?
Why rather than discussing on the issue, we turn our hatred to the Chinese and Vietnamese?
If Habermas is correct, then the net such as facebook, twitter so on and so forth must not be a public sphere.
But I can assure that there are good sources of information which you can rely on.
And they try to speak to us as clearly as possible.
Why don’t we choose it?
Is it true then the claim of the news broadcaster in ABC recently that Cambodian people doesn’t like to listen to a sheer news but it must mingle with the cheeky act while broadcasting?
I don’t think so. But can you accept that claim?
Give your opinions and thoughts because it is you who will prove it.
What are all of these about? Maybe, I would say that be responsible of what we are saying, be careful of what you are listening or reading or watching!
But after all, it is a call to Cambodian people to think.
Opinion by Damo Chhour,
Facebook, 16 March at 10:55, Quezon City, Philippines
Send your opinion or article to us if any.