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Culture and society

Vietnam says Facebook has violated its cyber laws

The country is considering punitive actions against the social media giants.


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Updated: January 10, 2019

The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) is considering preventing cash flowing into hatred advertising on Facebook and collecting taxes to deal with the social network’s violations of laws in Việt Nam.

The information was released at a press conference held by the MIC’s Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information in Hanoi yesterday.

Other measures to be considered include requiring Facebook to comply with Vietnamese laws and regulations.

According to the ABEI, Facebook had violated Vietnamese laws in three major areas of managing information content, online advertising and tax liability.

Facebook had not reportedly responded to a request to remove fanpages provoking activities against the State at the request of authorities.

Facebook had also allowed content from personal accounts to post slanderous content, anti-government sentiment and libel and defamation of individuals, organisations and State agencies. This content had been found to seriously violate Việt Nam’s Law on Cyber Security, Government’s Decree 72/2013, on the management, provision and use of internet services and online information and the MIC’s Circular 38 detailing the provision of public information across the border.

Management agencies had sent emails repeatedly asking Facebook to remove distorted and misleading content. However, the social networking giant had delayed removing the content, saying it did not violate its community standards.

It has also refused to provide information on fraudulent accounts to security agencies.

Facebook has been found to allow active accounts to sell and advertise illegal products and services such as fake money, fake products, weapons and fire crackers.

In particular, Facebook is reported to have allowed users to buy ads to spread false information, defame organisations, individuals and businesses.

According to ANTS market research company, in 2018, spending on online advertising in Việt Nam was estimated at US$550 million, of which advertising spent on Facebook and Google were $235 million and $152.1 million respectively. However, the two have reportedly ignored their tax obligations in Việt Nam.

The fact that foreign businesses such as Facebook do not pay taxes had caused the state to lose money and float the online advertising market, said the ABEI.

Authorities planned to continue gathering evidence of the infringements made by Faceboọk.

In addition, Facebook must co-ordinate with relevant agencies to manage payments and taxes for commercial and advertising transactions in Việt Nam. If Facebook did not take positive steps, Vietnamese regulators would apply necessary economic and technical measures to ensure a clean and healthy network environment, said the ABEI.

 



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Viet Nam News
About the Author: Viet Nam News is one of the country's top English language daily newspapers, providing coverage of the latest domestic and international developments in a range of areas.

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