Vietnam to oversee correction of Facebook map error

By Viet Tuan   July 10, 2018 | 04:38 am PT
Vietnam to oversee correction of Facebook map error
Facebook said it remains neutral on territorial disputes and thus its map now does not include Paracel and Spratly Islands as either part of China or Vietnam.
Vietnam's PM has asked the information minister to oversee final resolution of the imbroglio over an inaccurate map of Vietnam carried by Facebook.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has also asked Minister of Information and Communication Truong Minh Tuan to make sure steps are taken to prevent such mistakes in the future.

Earlier this month, the social networking giant wrongfully depicted Vietnam’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratlys) archipelagoes as part of China.

Facebook’s error came at a time when the international community had backed criticism of China’s recent actions in the disputed South China Sea, which Vietnam calls the East Sea.

The map not only showed the islands as part of China, a live version displayed the name "Sansha" over the South China Sea.

"Sansha" is the name of a city China has illegally and unilaterally established in the disputed waters that includes Vietnam's Paracel and Spratly Islands, as well as the Scarborough Shoal, which is claimed by the Philippines.

A Facebook representative responded that there was some “confusion” over the map, that it was a technical error without political intention.

Facebook also stated that all its maps were provided by third-party companies like OpenStreetMap and HERE Maps.

Later on, the social media giant removed the two islands from its map of China and issued a press release apologizing for the mistake. It said a patch to fix the error has been deployed globally.

Vietnam has consistently affirmed that it has full legal basis and historical evidence to assert its sovereignty over the Paracel and Spratly Islands.

China seized the Paracel Islands from South Vietnam by force in 1974, and has been illegally occupying a number of reefs in the Spratly Islands since 1988.

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