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Vietnam seeks tighter cooperation from Facebook

Released at: 10:30, 15/01/2018

Vietnam seeks tighter cooperation from Facebook

Minister Truong Minh Tuan (R) and Mr. Damian Yeo at their meeting on Jan 11 (Photo from mic.gov.vn)

Posting of slanderous content about government a matter of concern.

by Quang Huy

Facebook will create a separate communications channel to resolve requests from the Ministry of Information and Communications (MoIC) on removing toxic information that violates Vietnamese law on the social network, Mr. Damian Yeo, Facebook’s Head of Legal and Regulatory Affairs for Asia-Pacific region, said.

At a meeting with Minister of Information and Communications Truong Minh Tuan on January 11, Mr. Yeo said that Facebook is committed to building a healthy internet environment, focusing on reviewing and dealing with toxic information on a global scale, including requests made by the communications ministry.

Facebook will tightly cooperate with government agencies to tackle issues of concern to the government and will hold working sessions with Vietnamese counterparts to share experiences in preventing and removing toxic information in both the short and long term in Vietnam.

Minister Tuan stressed that Vietnam was particularly concerned about information that slandered the government and asked that Facebook put in place more efficient safeguards to ensure the prevention and removal of such illegal content.

Expressing regret that many harmful and illegal videos or posts already blocked or removed by Google and YouTube at the ministry’s request were still appearing on Facebook, Minister Tuan asked Facebook to continue cooperating with his ministry and the government.

He said the government was committed to expanding Facebook and other social networks for the causes of spreading goodwill and peace and promoting development in Vietnam.

In 2017 alone, Facebook eliminated more than 670 of 5,000 fake accounts spreading defamatory or obscene materials and hate speech against Vietnam. “This means the remaining 4,330 Facebook accounts are yet to be dealt with, and these are still putting up malicious content and false information that violates Vietnamese law,” the Minister said. “Since such content is clearly inciting violence and dissension to undermine national solidarity, they are a threat to security.”

Last week, the Ministry of Public Security scrapped an article requiring foreign tech giants such as Google and Facebook to install servers in Vietnam from its draft cyber-security law. The adjustment, which was presented for discussion at the National Assembly on January 10, was made after the previous version of the bill was opposed by both lawmakers and experts.

According to MoIC, nearly 67 million Vietnamese people have internet access and 53 million are frequent users of Facebook and other social networks.

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