Vietnam complained of "toxic" anti-government Facebook content, now says Facebook has committed to help censor

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Vietnam's government today said Facebook has promised to work with the communist nation to prevent the publication and distribution of banned online content.

From Reuters:

In February, communist Vietnam complained about "toxic" anti-government and offensive content on Facebook and Google Inc.'s YouTube and pressured local companies to withdraw advertising until the social media firms found a solution.

Facebook's commitment came during a meeting between its Head of Global Policy Management Monika Bickert and Vietnamese information and communication minister Truong Minh Tuan in Hanoi on Wednesday, a statement on the government's website said.

"Facebook will set up a separate channel to directly coordinate with Vietnam's communication and information ministry to prioritize requests from the ministry and other competent authorities in the country," the statement said.

The firm will also remove fake accounts and fake content about senior government officials, it said. Facebook did not respond to a request for comment. Facebook's website says that governments sometimes ask for the removal of content that violates local laws but does not violate its own Community Standards.

"If after careful legal review we find that the content is illegal under local law, then we may make it unavailable only in the relevant country or territory," it says.

The Western concepts of a free press and state protections for journalists are not supported by the government of Vietnam. The country has been criticized by global human rights organization for human rights abuses, including the arbitrary arrests and abuse of bloggers.

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