Vietnam has mandated removal of “false” content from social media platforms within 24 hours instead of the first 48 hours as the ruling Communist Party tightens its crackdown on “anti-state” activity.
Vietnam’s Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung told parliament on Friday that the move was necessary because “if handled slowly,” false news could spread widely.
Hung said Vietnam’s penalties for disseminating false information were only a tenth of those imposed by other Southeast Asian countries, but did not elaborate on the new regulations.
“The ministry will propose to the government to raise administrative fines to a level sufficient to deter the public,” he said.
The new rules establish Vietnam as one of the world’s most tightly controlled regimes for social media companies and strengthen the communist regime’s grip on social media platforms.
lack of freedom of expression
According to Freedom House, freedom of expression and civil society activism are “severely restricted” in countries under communist rule. 2022 world freedom report.
The U.S.-based organization said Vietnam further restricted internet freedom by introducing a bill restricting live streaming in July and launching a national code of conduct for social media users.
“Authorities are increasingly cracking down on citizens’ use of social media and the internet to express dissent and share uncensored information,” the report said.
The country’s cybersecurity law requires companies such as Facebook and Google to store information about Vietnamese users and allows the government to block access to content deemed dangerous to national security. There is
In April, Vietnamese reporter Nguyen Hoai Nam was sentenced to three and a half years in prison for “abusing democratic freedoms” through social media posts. requested further investigation.
Vietnamese independent journalist Le Van Dung was sentenced to five years in prison on March 23 after being charged with propaganda against the communist regime through social media posts. refused to consider them illegal.
Reuters contributed to this report.