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Apr 16, 2020 / 18:50

Facebook removes Paracel, Spratly Islands from Vietnam’s map

The wrong depiction has caused wrath among Vietnamese netizens.

A map used for Facebook advertising on Wednesday evening wrongly depicted Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) Islands as part of China.


The depiction by social network giant Facebook has violated Vietnamese sovereignty, triggering indignation among Vietnamese netizens.

A wave of anti-Facebook protest has immediately appeared on social networks, leading to demand to delete Facebook accounts among a number of users.

Many Vietnamese people reacted against the depiction on the App Store and CH Play while other called for one-star rating for Facebook.

A comment by user Dong Nguyet said that the move is unacceptable while Facebook has earned lots of money from Vietnam which is home to a large number of Facebook users, VnExpress reported.

Another comment from Ninh Hang blamed Facebook’s violations of Vietnamese sovereignty for money, according to VnExpress.

 Number of Facebook users in Vietnam from 2017 to 2023. Photo: Statista

With 47.1 million Facebook users, Vietnam is among the top 10 countries having the largest Facebook using community.

Facebook is using a map called Openstreetmap developed by a third party. This is an open adjustable map.

Vietnam’s map was adjusted four days ago by an ancount named Kalc, VnExpress cited a Vietnamese netizen. Another netizen has corrected the map with right depiction of Vietnamese sovereignty. But the wrong one has appeared again on Thursday [April 16].

Two years ago, the same depiction appeared on a map used for Facebook’s advertising. The incident caught public outage and Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc asked local authorities to demand immediate correction from Facebook.

Regarding the latest move, Facebook told VietNamNet that they are sorry for the incident, saying that the error has been fixed.

Vietnam has consistently affirmed that it has full legal basis and historical evidence to assert its sovereignty over the Paracel and Spratly Islands.

China seized the Paracel Islands from Vietnam by force in 1974, and has been illegally occupying a number of reefs in the Spratly Islands since 1988.