Facebook must identify account users: Vietnamese government

By Hoang Thuy   August 15, 2019 | 01:04 am PT
Facebook must identify account users: Vietnamese government
The Facebook app icon is seen on a smartphone. Photo by Shutterstock/Lukas Gojda.
Vietnam's government has told Facebook to identify users behind its Hanoi and HCMC accounts and remove fake news ads.

It has also asked Facebook to allow only authentic accounts to produce live-streaming content.

The Ministry of Information and Communications recently reported to the National Assembly that it has insisted on Facebook revealing Hanoi and HCMC account users identity after the social networking site did not remove some content at the request of the ministry. Facebook claimed that the content did not violate its policies.

The ministry has also asked Facebook to remove advertisements that distribute fake news on political matters at the request of the Vietnamese government.

The report submitted to the Vietnamese parliament alleges that Facebook and other social networking sites are making increasing profits from Vietnam, and a large part of this comes from illegal advertising on videos and websites, the ministry said.

Vietnam has been tightening conditions on Facebook and Google since earlier this year, when its Cybersecurity Law took effect. The law bans internet users from conducting anti-state activities.

A report by the Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information (ABEI) in June said Google has removed almost 8,000 toxic videos from YouTube at Vietnam’s request. However, 55,000 videos of this kind still remain on the world’s largest video platform, it added.

The report also said that Facebook has scrapped 200 websites with anti-governmental content, 208 fake accounts, and 2,444 websites that promoted sales of illegal products and services.

Information Minister Nguyen Manh Hung has called for creating a home-grown social media network and search engine to replace Facebook and Google.

Hung told National Assembly delegates on Thursday that Vietnamese social networks have about 65 million accounts, and this figure grew by 30 percent last year. Foreign social networks have about 90 million Vietnamese users. "With the current growth rate, Vietnamese and foreign social networks will have the same number of users by 2021 at the latest."

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