Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh HungMinister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung moaned that the current legal regulations mainly focus on strictly managing social networks in the country but some regulations have become outdated and inadequate, due to the rapid development of the Internet and technology, making it difficult for domestic social networks to attract users and develop business. Therefore, foreign social networking services dominate nearly 70 percent of the market share of online advertising revenue.
The Minister cited evidence, saying that the domestic network only allows limited sharing and exchange in one or a few narrow fields such as occupation, expertise, hobbies and knowledge. A domain name may only provide a service or aggregate website or social network, not integrated and it is not updated the information in general, multi-dimensional, or multi-field.
Meanwhile, foreign social network services provided across borders in Vietnam are developing very rapidly in recent years, attracting a large number of Vietnamese users and dominating up to nearly 70 percent of the market share of online advertising revenue because the regulations governing the activities of this target group in terms of content, advertising and taxes are still inadequate and lax.
Some large foreign social networks such as Facebook, Youtube have also made the excuse of not having a representative office in Vietnam, freedom of speech, and freedom of the Internet to find ways to avoid compliance with the provisions of Vietnamese law. These inadequacies have led to unequal competition between domestic social networks and cross-border social networks with great advantages in favor of foreign businesses.
At the session, National Assembly deputies complained about the rapid spread of fake news, and online toxicity encompassing rude, aggressive, and degrading attitudes and behavior that are exhibited on online platforms. Admitting NA deputies’ correct complaints, Minister Nguyen Manh Hung informed that from 2021 up to now, the Ministry of Information and Communications and departments of Information and Communications has issued 591 decisions to sanction administrative penalties on individuals and organizations collecting a total amount of more than VND 6.1 billion.
In 2021, the authorities sanctioned Youtube channel Hoang Anh-Timmy in Ho Chi Minh City, channel Hung blog, Hung troll in Bac Giang, Tho Nguyen channel in Binh Duongas well as prosecuted and detained Nguyen Phuong Hang and Dang Nhu Quynh on charges of abusing democratic freedoms to infringe upon the interests of the State, and the legitimate rights and interests of organizations and individuals. Currently, the authorities are carrying out legal proceedings in accordance with the law.
In the first nine months of 2022, the Ministry of Information and Communications and departments of Information and Communications issued 114 decisions on sanctions for administrative violations of online information with a total fine of nearly VND2 billion. The Ministry has asked businesses providing cross-border social networking services such as Facebook, Google (Youtube), and TikTok to prevent and remove tens of thousands of infringing content with an average blocking and removal rate of over 93 percent.
Following the Ministry’s requests, from 2018 to September 21, 2022, Facebook removed 311 fake accounts with more than 12,638 false articles which were smearing the reputation of organizations, individuals, and brands. In addition, 484 fan pages advertising gambling games, exchanging prizes 2,476 links for sale, and advertising of illegal products and services were deleted. During the peak time of fighting against the Covid-19 epidemic, 14 fake accounts of the Ministry of Health with more than 2,527 articles that distort the epidemic situation and have negative content were removed because they have affected the epidemic prevention and control work.
Furthermore, YouTube has blocked and removed 76,590 infringing videos as well as prevented access from Vietnam to 30/62 reactionary Youtube channels that regularly post content against the State of Vietnam. These 30 channels contain more than 11,212 video clips. The rate from the beginning of 2022 to now has reached 92 percent.
Tiktok has blocked and removed 1,445 infringing links, including 5 accounts that regularly post content against the Party and State. This social network also automatically scans and blocks 3,568 videos with malicious content on its platform. The rate from the beginning of 2022 to now reaches 91 percent.
Notably, in 2022, Facebook has accepted to remove 16 groups with unhealthy and harmful content for children and clear away 11 fake accounts of individuals and organizations while Youtube blocked 6 reactionary Youtube channels from accessing the territory of Vietnam with more than 1,500 video clips.
The Ministry of Information and Communications has drastically implemented preventative measures to deter people from spreading infringing information, as well as strictly handle those who spread fake news and illegal information in cyberspace, said the Minister.
In the coming time, the Ministry of Information and Communications will continue to strengthen closer coordination with other relevant functional agencies in inspecting, verifying, investigating, tracing and identifying acts and offenders that violate regulations on information content for strict handling in accordance with the present law.
He disclosed the sector will enhance the use of technological innovation in scanning and analyzing data to promptly detect the source of spreading infringing information to take appropriate handling violations.
In addition to developing and perfecting mechanisms and policies for state management, the Ministry will adopt appropriate policies to encourage organizations and individuals to invest in and produce products of cultural and spiritual value serving the needs of readers for the promotion of useful information content on the internet.