06/18/2021, 16.42
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Vietnam imposes social media guidelines

The new rules ban posts posts that violate the law and “affect the interests of the state”. Social media users are urged to create accounts using their real identities and share information from official sources. Providers are required to remove content when requested by the authorities.


Hanoi (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Vietnam’s new national social media guidelines are designed to encourage people to post positive content about the country and require state employees to report “conflicting information” to their superiors.

The guidelines, which were made public today, ban posts that violate the law and “affect the interests of the state”; they apply to state organisations, social media companies, and all their users in Vietnam.

“Social media users are encouraged to promote the beauty of Vietnam's landscape, people and culture and spread good stories about good people,” the guidelines read.

The new rules followed a decision taken yesterday by Vietnam’s Ministry of Information. It is not clear to what extent the former is legally binding or how it will be applied.

Vietnam’s ruling Communist Party tolerates little criticism, maintains strict media control, and in recent years has cracked down hard on dissidents and activists, some of whom are serving long prison sentences for their posts on Facebook and Google’s YouTube.

In November last year, Reuters reported that the authorities had threatened to shut down Facebook if it did not bow to government pressure to censor political content about the country.

The new guidelines require social media providers in Vietnam to “deal with users in accordance with Vietnamese law” and remove content when requested by the authorities.

The latter want users to create account using their real identities, share information from official sources, and avoid posting content that violates the law, contains vulgar language, or advertises illegal services.

In January, Vietnamese social media users used fake weather bulletins and fake football results as a means of discussing conflicts within the Communist Party leadership after an official ban was imposed on discussions before a Party congress.

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