May 28, 2019 / 14:43

Facebook enhances restricted access to content in Vietnam

The Hanoitimes - The US giant tech firm has increased restrictions to content which is believed to oppose the Vietnamese government.

Facebook increased content restrictions in Vietnam by more than 500% in the second half of 2018 following the Vietnamese government’s request. 
 
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Illustrative photo
The US social media giant restricted access to 1,553 posts and three profiles in Vietnam, compared to 265 such “restrictions” in the first half 2018, Reuters cited Facebook’s Transparency Report.

A restriction refers to a piece of content posted to Facebook which is not viewable in some countries because it is deemed to violate local laws.

Facebook’s move tailored Vietnam’s tightened internet restrictions which took effect in January 2019 which requires multinational companies to set up local offices and store data in the country. 

“There are times when we may have to restrict access to content because it violates the law in a particular country, even if it does not violate our community standards,” a Facebook spokeswoman told Reuters.

“We publish information about the content we restrict based on local law in our Transparency Report, and notify the person who posted the content that it has been restricted,” the spokeswoman said.

Facebook’s Transparency Report said it had made restrictions based on reports from Vietnam’s Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC), and Ministry of Public Security (MPS).

So far, Facebook has removed more than 200 posts containing anti-state content in Vietnam following takedown requests by the government, according to local media.

Earlier this month, the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) said in a report that Facebook’s violations are proved in content management, online advertisement, and tax evasion. 

A joint working group including representatives of Facebook, the MIC, the MPS, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), and General Department of Taxation has been set up to focus on three aforementioned violations. 

In addition, Facebook is blamed for allowing advertising without paying tax to the local government. Information Minister Nguyen Manh Hung affirmed earlier this month that it’s not fair that foreign firms like Facebook that earn up to 70% of advertising revenues on digital space pay no tax whereas Vietnamese peers are closely comply with the national regulations.