Facebook has released the findings of an independent human rights impact assessment they commissioned in 2018 to evaluate the role of their services in Cambodia, along with details on how they’ve responded to the recommendations. The assessment builds on the work they’ve done over the last two years, beginning with creation of a human rights team to inform Facebook policies, products, programs and partnerships around the world.
The commissioned assessment was conducted in accordance with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The assessment of Facebook’s role in Cambodia was completed by BSR.
BSR undertook its Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA) of Cambodia in late 2018 and early 2019, using a methodology based on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs). It involved interviews with 35 affected rights holders and stakeholders in Cambodia, as well as in-country research and interviews with relevant Facebook employees. The HRIA was funded by Facebook, though BSR retained editorial control of its contents.
HRIA Recommendations and Progress
The reports each made similar recommendations to help better protect human rights, including:
- Improving Facebook’s corporate accountability around human rights
- Updating Facebook Community Standards and improving enforcement
- Investing in changes to platform architecture to promote authoritative information and reduce the spread of abusive content
- Improving reporting mechanisms and response times
- Engaging more regularly and substantively with civil society organizations
- Increasing transparency so that people better understand Facebook’s approach to content, misinformation and News Feed ranking
- Continuing human rights due diligence
“We have also taken lessons from Cambodia, where government surveillance of internet and social media use is pervasive. We expanded the ways that users can keep their accounts secure and started encouraging people to use authenticator apps rather than SMS for more secure two-factor authentication”, Facebook said in a statement.
They also expanded their policies against voter interference, which proved critical ahead of Cambodian elections in 2022 and 2023.
Click here to read the full report.