Amnesty: Facebook ‘complicit’ in Vietnam censorship

  • Facebook
  • Wednesday, 22 Apr 2020

Amnesty said Facebook's decision was 'a devastating turning point for freedom of expression' in Vietnam. 'Ruthless suppression of freedom of expression is nothing new, but Facebook's shift in policy makes them complicit,' said the rights watchdog. — AFP

HANOI: Amnesty International on April 22 accused Facebook of "caving" to Vietnam's strict censorship regime, after the US tech giant confirmed it was blocking content deemed illegal by the country's communist government.

Authorities regularly sentence domestic critics to harsh prison terms but have come under fire recently for targeting dissent on the world's most popular social network.

Facebook is a popular platform for activists in Vietnam, where all independent media is banned, but the company confirmed in a statement to AFP that it had been instructed by Hanoi to restrict access to content "deemed to be illegal".

"We have taken this action to ensure our services remain available and usable for millions of people in Vietnam, who rely on them every day," a spokesperson said.

But Amnesty said the decision was "a devastating turning point for freedom of expression" in the country.

"Ruthless suppression of freedom of expression is nothing new, but Facebook's shift in policy makes them complicit," said the rights watchdog's William Nee.

More than 53 million people in Vietnam – over half the population – use Facebook. The platform is also a crucial marketing tool for local business.

Domestic social media networks have so far failed to win a share of that lucrative online market.

Since the beginning of the year, authorities have questioned hundreds of Facebook users over posts connected to the coronavirus pandemic and the government's handling of the health crisis.

Several were slapped with fines and had their posts removed after admitting they had spread "fake news".

The government introduced a new regulation this month that makes it easier for authorities to fine and jail online critics.

Around 10% of Vietnam's current crop of political prisoners were jailed because of their activity on Facebook, Amnesty says. – AFP

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3

Amnesty , human rights


Next In Tech News

Hyundai Motor Group names new chief for mobility division
Zuckerberg urged to nix kids’ version of Instagram
Exclusive: Grab considering secondary Singapore listing after U.S. SPAC merger - sources
Australian judge rules Google misled Android users on data
MCMC to take action against viral Raya-themed gambling ad
Turkey bans use of cryptocurrencies for payments, sends Bitcoin down
Sanctioned Russian IT firm was partner with Microsoft, IBM
US exposes hackers’ helpers to punish Russian attacks
Facebook is testing a new video-based dating app
Amazon conciliatory as US eyes regulation

Stories You'll Enjoy