|IT professionals at the Vietnam Computer Emergency Response Team’s office in Hà Nội. — VNA/VNS Photo Huy Hùng|
HÀ NỘI — Information and Communications Minister Trương Minh Tuấn acknowledged on Thursday that social network site Facebook has co-operated with the Government of Việt Nam in dealing with defamation of the nation.
He also said he was glad to see the “initial implementation” of smoother, faster and more direct control mechanisms over Facebook use in Southeast Asia in general and Viet Nam in particular.
His comments were made while receiving Damian Yeo, Facebook’s Head of Legal and Regulatory Affairs for Asia-Pacific region in Ha Noi.
Tuấn stressed that Việt Nam was particularly concerned about information that slandered the Government, and asked that Facebook put in place more efficient safeguards to ensure prevention and removal of such illegal content.
He expressed 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.
He asked Facebook to continue co-operating with his ministry and the Vietnamese Government to eliminate them.
He said the Government of Việt Nam was committed to expanding Facebook and other social networks for the causes of spreading goodwill and peace, and promoting development in Việt Nam.
Yeo consented to Tuấn’s requests, and affirmed that Việt Nam was a strategic market for Facebook in Southeast Asia.
He pledged to work closely with responsible Vietnamese agencies to develop a separate communication channel in 2018, focusing on reviewing and dealing with harmful social network content on a global scale, towards fostering a healthy internet environment.
The channel would be dedicated to handling requests and feedback from the MIC on fake accounts, spam, pornography, and violent or slanderous content.
Facebook’s representatives will continue meeting with Vietnamese authorities to identify causes and solutions to effectively prevent and remove defamatory content, Yeo said,
Tuấn welcomed Yeo’s idea of a separate channel and assigned the Broadcasting and Electronic Information Authority as the main agency to co-operate with Facebook.
In 2017 alone, Facebook eliminated more than 670 of 5,000 fake accounts spreading defamatory, obscene materials and hate speech against Việt Nam, Tuấn said.
“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, violating Vietnamese law,” he said.
Tuấn emphasised that “since such content is clearly inciting violence and dissension to undermine national solidarity, they are a threat to security”.
According to the Ministry, nearly 67 million Vietnamese people have internet access and 53 million are frequent users of Facebook and other social networks. — VNS