This Country’s Democracy Has Fallen Apart — And It Played Out to Millions On Facebook

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — At first, Kem Monovithya was baffled. Then she was afraid.

It started with a news story that seemed totally made up. Last summer, Fresh News — a kind of Cambodian take on Breitbart — published an article accusing Kem and her sister of being part of an elaborate CIA plot to overthrow the government of Cambodia, along with their father, the leader of the main opposition party. It seemed so ridiculous that they thought no one would believe it.

“At first we thought it was so funny,” said Kem, who is also an opposition party official. In response, she tweeted a photo of her and her sister, Samathida, on a boat, wearing dark sunglasses — like secret agents in an action movie.

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