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Cambodian PM's Facebook account at center of US legal case

AFP  |  San Francisco 

A former Cambodian opposition leader has taken legal action against in an effort to show that country's long-time ruler has used his account to further a political

The motion, filed in in San Francisco yesterday, seeks to compel to produce information about Hun Sen's account and whether he purchased millions of "likes" through so-called click farms and made death threats, among other violations of policies.

has ruled for 33 years and faces no meaningful opposition in this year's elections after the dissolution of the country's largest opposition party, the National Rescue Party, in November.

But he has made Facebook a key tool in public outreach efforts.

A for Facebook declined to comment Thursday on the new legal action but told AFP the company took fake accounts and inauthentic activity on the very seriously.

Exiled former currently faces criminal proceedings in Cambodia, including a conviction for defamation for casting doubt on the legitimacy of the "likes" on Hun Sen's Facebook page.

An analysis from the firm in 2016 determined that most of Hun Sen's likes came from and the Philippines, which officials have denied.

"In the last few years, platform has been misused and manipulated by Cambodia's autocratic dictator, intent on maintaining power at all costs," Richard Rogers, an attorney for Sam Rainsy, said in a statement.

"The petition raises fundamental questions about how Facebook should deal with human rights abusers who manipulate elections.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, February 09 2018. 16:50 IST