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Cambodia steps up surveillance with new internet gateway

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Cambodia's new National Internet Gateway will funnel all web traffic through a single, state-controlled entry point

Cambodia’s new National Internet Gateway will funnel all web traffic through a single, state-controlled entry point – Copyright AFP TANG CHHIN Sothy

Suy Se with Lisa Martin in Bangkok

Cambodia is powering up its new National Internet Gateway, a move activists say will allow the government to further silence the country’s embattled opposition voices.

UN rights experts warn the gateway, which will funnel all web traffic through a state-controlled entry point from February 16, will have a “devastating” effect on privacy and free speech.

It is the latest move by authoritarian ruler Hun Sen to clamp down on dissent in a country that has arrested dozens for online posts in recent years, critics say.

Hip-hop artist Kea Sokun, whose lyrics about injustice and corruption have struck a chord with Cambodia’s disaffected youth, was among those jailed.

As his music clocked up millions of views on YouTube, plainclothes police came knocking in September 2020.

“They kept asking who was backing me?” Kea Sokun told AFP.

He was arrested and convicted of incitement, spending a year behind bars, and now fears the new gateway will lead to more people suffering the same fate.

“It will be difficult to freely express opinions,” he said.

“They arrested me in order to intimidate others.”

Last year, an autistic teenager, the son of a jailed opposition figure, was sentenced to eight months in jail for Telegram messages deemed insulting to the government.

– Clampdown on dissent –

Internet gateways are the points on a network where a country connects to the worldwide web.

Once fully operational, Cambodia’s new National Internet Gateway will channel all traffic through a single entry point controlled by the government.

Internet service providers will be ordered to block websites and connections that adversely affect “national revenue, safety, social order, morality, culture, traditions and customs”.

UN rights experts warned earlier this month that the sweeping new powers will further shrink what is left of the space for dissent in Cambodia, where Hun Sen has buttressed his 37-year rule by steadily rolling back democratic freedoms.

The Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) says the new gateway will give the former Khmer Rouge cadre yet more ways to silence opposing voices.

In 2021, at least 39 Cambodians were arrested, jailed or had arrest warrants issued against them for online posts that fell foul of government censors, according to the CCHR.

Elections are expected next year, and the CCHR says the completion of the gateway now could allow the government to block dissenting views online in the run-up to polls.

Cybersecurity expert Matt Warren, from Australia’s RMIT University, said there could be attempts to silence high-profile opposition figures living in exile from weighing into the domestic political debate ahead of the 2023 polls.

“Will Cambodians outside the country be able to take part in the social dialogue during the election?” Warren said.

Thailand’s then-ruling junta mulled introducing a single internet gateway in 2015 but backed down in the face of opposition from business.

Aside from the privacy and rights concerns, industry figures warn that funneling all traffic through a single point leaves the country highly vulnerable to being cut off — either due to a technical fault or a cyber attack.

– ‘Balkanisation’ –

Government spokesman Phay Siphan insisted the internet gateway is needed to crack down on cyber-crime, maintain national security and collect revenue.

Cambodians needed to understand that freedom of “expression comes with responsibilities” and that “insulting or manipulating information can affect national security or individuals’ reputations,” he said.

But the new gateway appears to be taking Cambodia down a path beaten by China, which maintains even more sophisticated digital tools to monitor and censor the internet for its citizens, keeping the online world behind a “Great Firewall” and blocking major Western platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

“It’s the Balkanisation of the internet. You’ve got the internet in China, you’ve got the Russian internet, you’ve got the internet in Saudi Arabia, where they are isolated and monitored,” Warren told AFP.

“It’s not just about censorship, it’s also about control.”

The Cambodian government’s biggest fear, Warren said, is that its people could take inspiration from anti-coup campaigners in Myanmar, who used social media platforms to organise mass protests against the junta.

As the gateway’s completion day looms, many Cambodians are turning to virtual private networks (VPNs) to skirt online censorship.

Top10VPN, a Britain-based digital security advocacy group, said there had been a 56 percent surge in demand for VPN accounts in Cambodia in December.

So far, there are no reports of authorities cracking down on VPN use.

“However, wherever there are long-term government restrictions on internet access, VPN bans are sure to follow,” head researcher Simon Migliano told AFP.


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Master Your Marketing with These 46 Podcasts

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Master Your Marketing with These 46 Podcasts

Staying on top of the latest marketing strategies can feel like trying to drink from a firehose.

However, there’s a solution that’s just as refreshing as that first sip of your favorite morning brew.

In this fast-paced digital world, these podcasts are your compass, guiding you through the ever-shifting landscape of digital campaigns, SEO secrets, and social media sorcery.

Later on in the article, I’ll drop some marketing nuggets on how you can use podcasts to elevate your email newsletter game.

What Are Marketing Podcasts?

Marketing podcasts are audio programs that you can subscribe to on your mobile device and listen to whenever you like.

Podcasting began as an independent way for people to spread their message and build a community of like-minded people.

People have been podcasting since the early 2000s.

According to Statista, the number of Americans who listen to podcasts has grown by 3% since 2020.

Why Should Podcasting Be Part of Your Digital Marketing Strategy?

Podcasts should be a part of your digital marketing strategy if you want to tap into the power of audio content and reach a diverse and engaged audience.

Here are ten reasons you should incorporate podcasts into your digital marketing strategy.

  1. They are very creative.

  2. You can reach your target audience faster.

  3. Podcasts will engage your audience.

  4. They are great for SEO.

  5. They are highly versatile.

  6. They allow you to connect better with your audience.

  7. You can target a particular niche.

  8. You can easily build a community around your business.

  9. It sets you ahead of your competitors.

  10. It establishes you as an authority in your industry.

Do Podcasts Help With Marketing?

Master Your Marketing with These 46 Podcasts

The short answer is yes! 

The best podcasts for marketing have become increasingly popular and are a proven way to reach and engage with target audiences.

You can also use podcasts as a way to keep existing clients engaged by providing them with fresh content regularly.

They can also serve as a valuable asset to enhance your email marketing efforts.

  1. Content Diversification: Including podcast episodes in your email newsletters adds a layer of diversity to your content strategy. Instead of relying solely on written content, you provide subscribers with an alternative way to engage with your brand.

  2. Increased Engagement: Some subscribers might prefer listening to content rather than reading. By offering podcast episodes, you cater to different learning and consumption preferences, resulting in higher engagement rates.

  3. Cross-Promotion: You can use your email newsletter list to promote your latest podcast episodes. This cross-promotion encourages newsletter subscribers to explore your podcast and vice versa, effectively expanding your reach.

  4. Exclusive Previews: Provide your email subscribers with exclusive access to podcast previews or early releases. This gives them a sense of being part of an inner circle and encourages them to remain subscribed for unique benefits.

  5. Enhanced Value: Including podcast content that complements the topics discussed in your newsletters adds more value to your subscribers’ experience. They get a deeper dive into subjects of interest, making your newsletter more indispensable.

  6. Traffic Generation: Podcasts can drive traffic back to your website or landing pages. Include relevant links in your podcast episodes, show notes, or accompanying articles within your newsletters to guide subscribers to specific resources.

  7. Thematic Consistency: Align your podcast content with the themes you cover in your newsletters. This reinforces your brand’s messaging and expertise across multiple channels, enhancing brand recognition.

  8. Subscriber Retention: By offering a mix of content types, you reduce the likelihood of subscribers becoming disengaged due to content fatigue. Podcasts can reinvigorate their interest and encourage them to stay subscribed.

  9. Call to Action (CTA) Opportunities: Podcast-related CTAs within your newsletters can encourage subscribers to listen to specific episodes or explore your podcast archives. This can lead to higher click-through rates and conversions.

  10. Feedback Loop: Promote audience interaction by inviting subscribers to share their thoughts, questions, or comments about specific podcast episodes in your newsletters. This fosters a sense of community and involvement.

Why Are Podcasts Good for Content Marketing?

Podcasts are a great complement to content marketing. They provide rich and immersive experiences that can be enjoyed on the go.

What’s even better is that you can repurpose snippets or clips from podcasts for short-form video marketing.

This allows you to engage your audience with visually captivating content while still benefiting from the conversational tone and intimate connection that podcasts provide.

How Are Podcasts Part of the Marketing Strategy?

Incorporating podcasts into a marketing strategy offers businesses a versatile content portfolio.

They’re great for sharing industry insights, product updates, and showcasing customer testimonials.

When done right, podcasts can seamlessly integrate with various marketing channels.

Each podcast episode can be repurposed into engaging blog posts, captivating social media snippets, attention-grabbing tweets, and even impactful email marketing campaigns.

This multifaceted approach ensures maximum exposure and a higher return on investment.

The 46 Best Podcast Marketing Shows

Master Your Marketing with These 46 Podcasts

Get your quick dose of business growth strategies on “Growth Byte.” Hosted by industry experts, this podcast serves up bite-sized insights and actionable advice to help your business thrive in no time.

Master Your Marketing with These 46 Podcasts

Dive into the fascinating world of entrepreneurs and marketers on “Growth Everywhere”! Hear inspiring growth stories and discover the strategies that propelled their success.

Master Your Marketing with These 46 Podcasts

This is another podcast that shares inspiring stories of entrepreneurs and marketers who have achieved remarkable growth.

This podcast unlocks the brilliance of thought leaders and experts across various industries. Their captivating interviews offer invaluable insights into business, leadership, and marketing strategies.

Master Your Marketing with These 46 Podcasts

Join Steli and Hiten for candid conversations on tackling startup challenges, driving growth, and mastering marketing. With their wealth of experience and insights, this podcast delivers valuable lessons for entrepreneurs and marketers alike.

Master Your Marketing with These 46 Podcasts

This bi-weekly podcast is a staple for marketing professionals worldwide. Hosts John Wall and Christopher Penn dissect the latest trends and strategies in marketing while you enjoy your morning cup of joe. They frequently invite industry-leading guests to provide their insights. 

Master Your Marketing with These 46 Podcasts

Discover the power of storytelling in marketing on “Louder Than Words.” Join John Bonini as he explores how effective storytelling can amplify your brand’s message and connect with your audience on a deeper level.

Master Your Marketing with These 46 Podcasts

Get ready for a fun and informative ride with “The Marketing Companion Podcast.” Mark Schaefer and Brooke Sellas bring a delightful blend of insights and humor to their discussions, making each episode an enjoyable and educational experience.

Master Your Marketing with These 46 Podcasts

Hosted by MarketingProfs, this podcast offers practical insights and strategies to help you stay ahead in the ever-evolving world of marketing.

Master Your Marketing with These 46 Podcasts

Whether you’re looking to build your email list or create captivating courses, Amy’s easy-to-follow guidance is perfect for online entrepreneurs striving for growth.

Master Your Marketing with These 46 Podcasts

Dive into the world of email marketing strategies on the “Opt-In!” podcast. This podcast provides valuable tips and tricks to optimize your email campaigns, grow your subscriber list, and drive meaningful engagement.

Master Your Marketing with These 46 Podcasts

Stay at the forefront of marketing, technology, and business trends with VB Engage.

Master Your Marketing with These 46 Podcasts

Master the art of digital marketing, SEO, and web development on “Webcology.” Tune in to discover strategies for online visibility, audience engagement, and staying ahead in the competitive digital landscape.

Master Your Marketing with These 46 Podcasts

Challenge conventional marketing practices with “Everyone Hates Marketers.” Host Louis Grenier dives into ethical marketing and explores effective strategies for building meaningful connections with your audience.

Master Your Marketing with These 46 Podcasts

Get quick marketing insights on the go with Marketing School. Neil Patel and Eric Siu deliver bite-sized episodes packed with actionable tips and strategies to optimize your marketing efforts.

Master Your Marketing with These 46 Podcasts

Unleash the power of paid traffic strategies on “Perpetual Traffic” by DigitalMarketer. Learn how to maximize conversions, drive targeted traffic, and stay ahead of the ever-changing advertising platforms.

Master Your Marketing with These 46 Podcasts

Host Spencer Haws shares valuable insights into finding profitable niches and building successful online businesses.

Master Your Marketing with These 46 Podcasts

Prepare to think differently about marketing on Seth Godin’s “Akimbo.” With unconventional insights, Seth challenges traditional practices and encourages listeners to embrace creativity and unconventional thinking.

Master Your Marketing with These 46 Podcasts

Explore the far-reaching influence of marketing on “Everything Is Marketing.” Host Ron Tite offers fresh perspectives on how marketing impacts various aspects of business and life.

Master Your Marketing with These 46 Podcasts

Stay up to date with a wide range of digital marketing topics on “The Digital Marketing Podcast.” Tune in for discussions on SEO, content marketing, social media, and more to enhance your marketing strategies.

Master Your Marketing with These 46 Podcasts

Unlock strategies for e-commerce success on “The Smart Marketer Podcast.” Host Ezra Firestone dives into e-commerce marketing and business growth, offering valuable insights and tactics.

Master Your Marketing with These 46 Podcasts

Small businesses, get ready for actionable marketing advice on the “Duct Tape Marketing Podcast.” John Jantsch shares strategies to attract and retain customers, helping you thrive in a competitive market.

1708383370 5 Master Your Marketing with These 46 Podcasts

Tune in for insightful discussions on the intersection of marketing and technology, providing you with a competitive edge.

Master Your Marketing with These 46 Podcasts

Unlock the secrets of SEO, content marketing, and digital strategies on “Marketing Speak.” This podcast offers practical tips to enhance your marketing efforts and drive results.

Master Your Marketing with These 46 Podcasts

Hosted by Shaan Puri and Sam Parr, this podcast explores successful business journeys to inspire and educate.

Master Your Marketing with These 46 Podcasts

Get ready for actionable marketing advice and strategies on the “Actionable Marketing Podcast.” Tune in to gain insights into lead generation, content marketing, social media, and more to drive tangible results.

Master Your Marketing with These 46 Podcasts

Build a strong brand presence through effective content marketing and storytelling on “Brand Newsroom.” Explore discussions on branding, content marketing, and strategies to engage your audience.

Master Your Marketing with These 46 Podcasts

Gain valuable insights into content marketing and audience building on “The Content Inc. podcast.” Hosted by Joe Pulizzi, this podcast offers strategies for creating valuable content that drives engagement and builds a loyal following.

Master Your Marketing with These 46 Podcasts

Host Ryan Hanley shares insights and tactics to create impactful and shareable content that resonates with your target audience.

Master Your Marketing with These 46 Podcasts

This one is for all you copywriters out there. Tune in to Copyblogger FM for practical tips and advice on creating compelling and persuasive content that captivates your readers.

Master Your Marketing with These 46 Podcasts

Learn about the power of landing page optimization and conversion rate improvement on the “Call to Action” podcast. Tune in for actionable strategies that will enhance your online marketing campaigns and drive meaningful actions from your audience.

Master Your Marketing with These 46 Podcasts

ConversionCast offers valuable insights and case studies to help you improve website conversions and achieve better results.

Master Your Marketing with These 46 Podcasts

Hubcast, hosted by HubSpot experts, provides valuable insights and tips to attract, engage, and delight your customers through inbound marketing practices.

Master Your Marketing with These 46 Podcasts

Embark on a journey of building and growing an inbound marketing agency on the “Inbound Agency Journey” podcast. Gain perspectives on agency operations and learn from successful client stories to take your agency to new heights.

Why Trust Me?

I bring expertise, results-driven strategies, and a powerful arsenal of email marketing knowledge to supercharge your business. 

With a track record of driving substantial revenue through compelling copy, I’m here to help make an impact on your email marketing efforts.

Master Your Marketing with These 46 Podcasts

Stay ahead of the game with the latest SEO strategies and search engine trends on “Search Engine Nerds.” This podcast provides valuable insights to improve your website’s search visibility and drive organic traffic.

Master Your Marketing with These 46 Podcasts

Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, “SEO 101” is the podcast for you. Explore SEO basics, strategies, and updates to optimize your website and improve its rankings on search engines.

Master Your Marketing with These 46 Podcasts

Expand your marketing knowledge with insights from industry thought leaders on the Sophisticated Marketer’s Podcast.

Master Your Marketing with These 46 Podcasts

Host Mitch Joel explores the intersection of technology, marketing, and communication, offering valuable perspectives and strategies for success.

Master Your Marketing with These 46 Podcasts

Learn how to effectively leverage social platforms to drive business growth and build meaningful connections with your audience.

Master Your Marketing with These 46 Podcasts

Get expert insights into social media strategies. You’ll learn actionable tips and tactics to improve your social presence and achieve better results.

Master Your Marketing with These 46 Podcasts

Host Rick Mulready covers Facebook and Instagram ads, offering strategies and tips to maximize your ROI.

Master Your Marketing with These 46 Podcasts

Join Gary Vaynerchuk on the “#AskGaryVee Show” as he answers audience questions and shares insights on entrepreneurship, marketing, and personal branding. Tap into Gary’s expertise and learn from his experiences.

Master Your Marketing with These 46 Podcasts

Stay up to date with the latest marketing trends and strategies on the “BeanCast Marketing Podcast.” Join panel discussions where experts dissect and analyze the most impactful marketing topics.

Master Your Marketing with These 46 Podcasts

Host Roger Dooley explores consumer behavior and neuromarketing, providing valuable insights into influencing your target audience.

Master Your Marketing with These 46 Podcasts

Tune in for discussions on SEO, content marketing, and analytics, and gain valuable insights to enhance your digital campaigns.

Master Your Marketing with These 46 Podcasts

Hear about real marketing experiments and case studies to gain insights and apply them to improve your own marketing campaigns.

Master Your Marketing with These 46 Podcasts

Tune in to discussions on data-driven decision-making and analytics strategies to make informed marketing choices.

Best Podcasts for Marketers: Closing Thoughts

Alright, let’s bring this all together.

Podcasts are great for supercharging your marketing strategy.

With so many options to choose from, you’re on the verge of discovering that one marketing podcast that aligns perfectly with your goals and aspirations.

So why not add a dash of podcast inspiration to your marketing mix?

The next time you’re sipping that cup of joe, take a moment to think about how you could incorporate a podcast into your marketing efforts.

Perhaps you could sprinkle some podcast recommendations into your newsletter like that extra sprinkle of sugar you love.

Or how about sharing a nugget of podcast gold on your blog, just like that dollop of whipped cream on your drink?

If newsletters and blogs are your cup of tea, then let me introduce you to beehiiv.

Master Your Marketing with These 46 Podcasts

Whether you’re sharing the latest podcast picks or weaving your brand’s story, beehiiv has the tools to make you stand out.

Master Your Marketing with These 46 Podcasts



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Meta Begins Testing Fact Check Markers on Threads

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Meta Begins Testing Fact Check Markers on Threads

While it doesn’t particularly want political discussion on Threads, Meta also knows that it’s going to happen either way, which is why it’s now expanding its fact-checks to Threads as well, with the first fact-check alerts spotted in-stream late last week.

As you can see in this example, Threads is now displaying fact-checks in some regions, with the current notes mirroring the work done on Facebook and Instagram, and not unique to Threads itself.

Meta’s confirmed to TechCrunch that more fact check markers are coming to Threads, but right now, it’s in limited form, with the Threads alerts matching similar content that’s been fact-checked in its other apps.

Meta will however be adding specific Threads tags, which will be important given the various polls happening around the world this year, and the expected impact of AI-generated deepfakes in particular in the process.

Fact-checking has become a point of contention in some circles, with X owner Elon Musk looking to reduce the impact of outside interference on what’s shared in his app, with Musk suggesting that these types of processes are merely designed to help maintain certain narratives, as opposed to being used as informational markers.

Which would be some feat, considering the array of third-party fact-checking partners involved in the process. But even so, Musk’s preference, instead, is to rely on Community Notes crowd-sourced fact-checking, which, in his view, will enable “the people” to decide what’s true and what’s not, as opposed to professional organizations.

Which, as various reports have shown, is largely unworkable at scale, and easily infiltrated by biased operatives. As such, it does seem like X could be particularly vulnerable to manipulation in the coming election period, while other platforms work to ramp up their confirmation and validation efforts through more cooperative means.

And as noted, Threads too will eventually have dedicated fact-checks in-stream, which could be a key tool in helping to dispel false narratives and reports, and keeping voters informed.

Previous research has shown that fact-check labels have a significant effect on reducing false news sharing intentions, and clearly, Meta sees high value in employing this as a misinformation deterrent.

Politics, ideally, won’t gain significant traction on Threads, due to the platform opting users out of political content by default, which will make it harder for those topics to gain mass momentum in the app. But it’s important for Meta to still consider the influence of such, and to counter harmful impacts where it can.   

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Cleo Tech’s ‘Marketing for Good’ Token Launches on MEXC

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Cleo Tech’s ‘Marketing for Good’ Token Launches on MEXC

Web3-powered real world assets technology platform Cleo Tech’s CLEO token has been listed on crypto exchange MEXC.

Cleo Tech incentivizes social good through tokenization. Its novel platform enables businesses, sports, schools and the arts to generate engagement and revenue by offering a tokenized real world good—such as removing plastic from the ocean or planting trees—in combination with an NFT for proof of execution.

Its first initiative, “marketing for good,” focuses on enabling brands to reward viewers for brand and content engagement with a “good deed.”

“The single biggest pain point in marketing is that at some point, you’ve got to ask for somebody’s data to get them into your pipeline,” Cleo Tech CEO Jason Sibley said on Rug Radio’s FOMO Hour. The problem, he explained, is that advertisers haven’t been able to meet value with value. Cleo’s proposition is to “effectively tokenize good, and allow brands to reward prospects for their time and attention.”

In its three months since going live, Cleo Tech has already on-boarded brands including Google, Mastercard, HP, HSBC and Hitachi to its “Marketing for Good” initiative, sponsoring ESG initiatives such as Rimba Raya biodiversity reserve’s carbon offsets in Borneo, Eden Reforestation and Second Life’s ocean plastic removal.

“We’re allowing people to use their time to accumulate value, but it’s not money in their pocket,” Sibley said. “It’s a good that happens somewhere in the world.”

Those good deeds are tokenized as unique digital assets atop the Polygon blockchain; users receive the unique digital asset in their Cleo wallet as confirmation that the social good was delivered on their behalf by the brand. “We use NFTs as a completion certificate,” Sibley explained. “So the brand gets all this good happening for their ESG goals. But the individuals get a really nicely designed certificate in the form of an NFT.”

Sibley explained that Cleo Tech “never started as a blockchain project,” adding that, “Blockchain fixed our single biggest problems, which was scalability and transparency.” Blockchain’s decentralized ledger enables Cleo to track ESG contributions, and give users an “immutable record of the good they’ve done,” he said.

Decentralized Web3 technology has also enabled Cleo Tech to launch initiatives such as an impact investment DAO, with 5% of the firm’s revenue invested in innovative climatech projects, guided by DAO participants and a further 5% going towards buying back and burning their Cleo token.

Cleo Tech has ambitious plans to onboard 50 million users in the next three years, and become the global platform for individuals to participate in initiatives that support social causes and environmental sustainability. Next on its roadmap is the acquisition of NFT marketplace DoinGud, alongside a partnership with Mastercard and a “Sports for Good” programme to tackle food insecurity in children.

“I think this is going to be the biggest ride the next two years, honestly,” said Sibley. “It’s an exciting place to be, and I’m just glad to be on the journey as a founder now, because I think we can do some good.”

To find out more about Cleo, visit its token website at cleotech.xyz and its client site at cleo.tech, or follow the project on Twitter, Discord, YouTube and Telegram. To celebrate adding penguins to the causes supported through Cleo Tech, head to cleo.xyz for a chance to win a Lil Pudgy NFT.

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