Facebook will set up a channel to exclusively receive requests from the Vietnamese government to handle accounts that violate the local laws on its platform, a representative of the world’s largest social network has said.
Damian Yeo, head of legal and regulatory affairs for Facebook in the Asia Pacific region, led a delegation to a working meeting with Vietnam’s Minister of Information and Communications Truong Minh Tuan in Hanoi on Thursday.
At the reception, the Vietnamese minister hailed Facebook for its cooperation in resolving requests to block and remove content Vietnam deems inappropriate, as well as defamatory and fake accounts on its platform in recent times.
Minister Tuan said that the cooperation between his ministry and the U.S. company has seen significant progress and the two parties can now make quicker contact through the Southeast Asian representative of Facebook.
Facebook has so far removed more than 670 fake accounts and those whose posts the Vietnamese government identifies as being meant to defame Vietnamese leaders, disseminate anti-government propaganda, incite violence and spread pornography.
However, the minister underlined that this number is too modest given Vietnam’s request to have a total of 5,000 such accounts purged from Facebook.
As Google-owned YouTube has also deactivated some 4,500 “toxic” videos, whose content was either ‘fake news’ or anti-Vietnamese government, at the ministry’s request, these videos have been reposted on Facebook, Tuan noted.
Tuan made no secret with his guests that the cooperation between Facebook and his ministry is not as strong as expected.
“[The two sides] must cooperate with one another in a much stronger and efficient manner so that Facebook can operate in line with the law and achieve healthy growth in Vietnam,” he said.
In response, Yeo expressed his commitment that Facebook will work with relevant agencies in Vietnam to keep the online environment healthy, particularly by getting rid of ‘toxic’ content as requested by the information ministry.
Yeo added that Facebook will maintain close collaboration with Vietnam’s government this year to resolve those issues, and that the social network will have an exclusive channel to handle issues requested by the ministry and the Vietnamese government.
The vow was praised by minister Tuan, who tasked the Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information to continue represent it in working with Facebook.
Seventy percent of Vietnam’s 90 million-strong population have access to the Internet, with some 53 million social network users.