Vietnam issues social media code of conduct

By Viet Tuan   June 18, 2021 | 02:19 am PT
Vietnam issues social media code of conduct
Icons of several social media services are displayed on a smartphone screen. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh.
Vietnam issued a Code of Conduct for social media behavior Thursday, encouraging users to use real names and requesting platforms to cooperate with authorities to remove illegal content.

The code, issued by the Ministry of Information and Communications, states that social media service providers must respect users' rights to privacy, publicize their methods for finding content that break the law, including copyright laws, and must cooperate with authorities in removing such content.

Social media platforms should also devise ways to protect the vulnerable segments of society, including the poor, ethnic minority communities, children and the disabled, the code says.

Users and organizations are encouraged to use their real names on social media platforms, share content that is legitimate, abide by "moral and cultural standards" and not share hate speech or discriminatory content.

Users must not post law-breaking content and content that harm a person's dignity and rights, share fake news and content that affect social order, the code says.

The ministry said social media users are encouraged to share content that reflects Vietnam's national and cultural values, as well as positive content including people doing good things.

The code asks government officials to provide feedback on opinions expressed on social media platforms.

The Vietnamese parliament had in 2018 passed a cybersecurity law that bans internet users from organizing, encouraging or training other people for anti-state purposes.

They are also not allowed to distort history, negate the nation’s revolutionary achievements, undermine national solidarity, offend religions and discriminate on the basis of gender and race.

The law, which took effect in 2019, also requires foreign social media businesses to open representative offices in Vietnam and store their Vietnamese users' data on Vietnamese territory.

Despite concerns and criticisms of the law expressed in several quarters, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has stated that it serves to protect national security and order while not impeding any international pact.

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