Facebook increased Vietnam content restrictions

In the latter part of 2018, Facebook increased the amount of content that restricted access to Vietnam by over 500%, the social media giant in the US said in a report released Friday after Southeast Asian country crashes its strike in disagreement online.

The increase occurred after Vietnam was tightening Internet restrictions, culminating in an online security law that came into force this January, requiring companies to establish local offices and store data in the country.

Earlier this month, Amnesty International said nearly 10% of the 128 detainees held in Vietnam to express opposing views were jailed for posting anti-state reviews on social media platforms like Facebook.

The website is widely used in the country and serves as the main platform for both electronic commerce and disagreement. In January, Vietnam accused Facebook of violating local laws, allowing users to send anti-governmental comments.

From July to December last year, Facebook’s Transparency Report said it had limited access to 1,553 posts and three profiles in Vietnam, compared to just 265 such “restrictions” in the first six months of 2018.

A restriction refers to a portion of the content posted on Facebook which is not visible in some countries because it is considered to violate local laws.

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

“We publish information about the content that we limit to local law in our Transparency Report and notify the person who has posted content that is limited,” the spokesman said.

Facebook’s Transparency Report said it had made restrictions based on reports from Vietnam’s ministries of information and security.

According to a report published on the Vietnam government website on May 7, Facebook has so far removed more than 200 posts containing anti-state content in Vietnam following requests to leave the government.

The Vietnamese government’s report said Hanoi has set up a working group between Facebook, the Ministry of Information and Communication, the State Bank of Vietnam, the tax department, and the Ministry of Public Security to address unresolved issues.

The report said the working group is focusing on three main areas: Content Violations, Economic Development and Taxation./Investing.com

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