Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) has been accused of violating the new cybersecurity law by allowing its users to freely post on their platform anti-government comments according to Vietnam News Agency (VNA). This is the first reprimand days after the controversial legislation came into effect in the country’s communist regime.
According to VNA via the ministry of information and communication, Facebook has failed to respond to some requests regarding the removal of some fan pages which provoke activities against the regime.
Media Watch in Vietnam
At least one thing for sure is that the world is changing and now theirs is an increasing openness regarding social change leave alone the economic reforms. However, despite all that, Vietnam’s communist regime retains strong media censorship and doesn’t tolerate dissent.
According to the ministry, Facebook allowed some personal accounts to upload various posts that contain “untrue” information, anti-government sentiment as well as defamation of some organizations and individuals. It went further to say that the content violated Vietnam’s cybersecurity law in addition to government regulations on management, the provision as well as the use of internet services.
However, in a statement from Facebook’s spokeswoman claims that there is a defined process for any government to report their illegal content which is later reviewed as per the terms of service of Facebook and the local law. What she didn’t elaborate is whether the right process was used in reporting or not.
Effects of the Cybersecurity Law
Earlier there were claims from rights groups and global tech companies regarding the law which also requires the tech firms to establish local offices as well as store data locally. They claimed that the law could undermine development as well as interrupt innovation in the country.
Also, there are concerns from the company that the law might make it even easier for authorities to take control of customer data and hence expose the local employees to arrest. Furthermore, the issue of taxation may be behind the accusations as the ministry may consider taxing Facebook for the advertisements.
Besides, Vietnam had made it clear that half of the users in social media has to be on domestic networks come 2020 as a plan of preventing “toxic information.” It only remains to be seen what the future holds regarding the issue in Vietnam.