With a growing wave of fake news on social media platforms, the debate over the extent of government control over online information is a perennial one.
In Vietnam, the government is increasing its control over the internet regime. The country is developing new regulations to control the dissemination of news on social media platforms operating in the country, Reuters report source citation.
According to Reuters, the decision stemmed from government concerns about users mistaking social media accounts for authorized news agencies.
While citizens may want the government to release real misinformation, the risk of greater scrutiny from regulators is that people lose their freedom.
Vietnam already has one of the most restrictive internet regulatory regimes in the world and is rated as an “internet freedom score” as 22 out of 100 by Freedom House, a pro-democracy nonprofit. That makes the country’s internet freedom worse than that of Russia (30/100) and Saudi Arabia (24/100).
Authorities are also mulling new regulations that would require social media platforms to remove content that is illegal or deemed damaging to national security, according to Reuters.
This approach will put the burden on the likes of Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and the popular social network Zalo in the country to purge unwanted content by the authorities.
Vietnam’s restriction on news dissemination is reminiscent of a recent move by China to crack down on unauthorized news publishers. Last year, Beijing speak Social media accounts that post news must have the relevant media license. Media recognition in China is almost exclusively reserved for state-owned establishments, meaning millions of content creators will have to steer clear of all things believable.
Indeed, some have likened Vietnam’s grip on the Internet to China’s model of censorship. When Vietnam deploys Cybersecurity law in 2021, many people think that the Southeast Asian country is following in China’s footsteps.
For example, the law requires foreign tech giants like Facebook and Google to store user data locally and allows the government to block access to content that could be determined to be dangerous to security. national security, similar to those implemented in China.
More to come…